ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. (KRQE) – Sunday night kicked off the 27th Annual burning of El Kookooee and like last year, this year’s event got political. Organizers say, it was no coincidence with Donald Trump’s rally that was also held Sunday.
While Trump was rallying in another part of Albuquerque, the burning of El Kookooee was happening at the same time. This year’s artwork was inspired by a student who was afraid of having her head swirled in the toilet by bullies. Organizers claim Trump’s comments about Mexicans, women and others make him the biggest bully of them all.
“We have a toilet on top of our tower, and Trump had the honor of being swirled,” said James Maestas.
Many people in the South Valley have a fear of Donald Trump becoming President, and if he wins the election, you can expect to see more of this for years to come.
“If Trump wins, I don’t think we’re ever not going to have him,” said Brad Lagorio.
Traditionally known as the Mexican Boogie Man, this year’s celebration means more than just an opportunity to bash Trump. It’s a chance for people to burn away their fears and a place to come together as a community.
“All our cultures joined together in the celebration tonight. It’s the end of the season for our farms down here, so this is a great way to celebrate,” said Maestas.
Natalia Hernandez has been performing for this event since she was 4 years old, and says she loves to see El Kookooee go up in flames.
“My favorite part is when all the ashes go up and they just look like stars everywhere.”
Once El Kookooee is lit in flames, all those worries are instantly burned away. For Maestas, there’s one fear that’s too real to ignore.
“Trump. I’m afraid that Trump could win this election.”
Organizers say this year they had about 500 people write down their fears and worries to burned.
On Monday, the park was littered with the aftermath of the event: bottles, cups, and empty pizza boxes. There were no cleaning crews when KRQE News 13 was at the park Monday.