Authorities prepare for New Mexico religious pilgrimage

CHIMAYO, N.M. (AP) – Authorities are preparing for the thousands of people who are expected for the annual Good Friday pilgrimage to El Santuario de Chimayo.

Santa Fe County sheriff’s deputies will increase traffic patrols beginning Thursday when the majority of pilgrims begin walking to the northern New Mexico shrine.

Deputies are urging walkers to make themselves visible by using reflective tape, safety vests or glow sticks.

New Mexico State Police, Santa Fe police and tribal officers also will be patrolling the area throughout the Easter weekend.

State transportation crews will be installing message boards along roadways in the area as well as temporary stop signs, portable lights and trash cans.

Chimayo is a national historic landmark. Some 200,000 people are estimated to visit each year, with the bulk occurring during Holy Week.

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