Fiesta 2023

¡Qué viva la Fiesta!

Since 1712 Santa Fe has celebrated community.

In 1924, Zozobra crept his way into Fiesta. In 1993, the celebrated La Conquistadora got an alias: La Señora de Paz.

Old Man Gloom holds paper shards noting the year’s sorrows. On Friday, they’ll burn to smithereens. The paper announced a “Zozofest” at Santa Fe Place. We thought to see folks prepping shards. We couldn’t find it.

We walked the mall end to end. In a small painting kiosk was a woman with puffy purple hair. She said, “I’m the artist.” Else, we saw many stores for the booty pants menagerie. Boring.

Friday, we’ll drive the Old Taos Highway to see the Old Man rising. We may vulch a spot to park. We’ll sneak up for a pic.

Friday, Zozobra burns. (It’s Emma M. Nutt Day, too. She was the first female phone operator. “Number, please?”) Zobie, we gotcher number.

No cooler and picnic these days. A crowded field has a ticketed secure entrance. Come one, come all, and many do. They chant (or think) “Burn heem!” Some there, some to TVs.

First, little gloomies dance up front. And a fire dancer. Then with fireworks, Zobie brings a fiery end to summer. The crowd screams, “Burn heem! Burn heem!” He yowls and moans. His arms flail. He goes down in fierce agony. “Fiesta! Every time! That burns me up! WHYYYY? Grrr…”

Saturday the 311th Fiesta de Santa Fe begins. (It’s International Bacon Day, too. Everything goes better with bacon.) Crowds pack the Plaza. We’ll vulch parking at PERA and walk down for arts and crafts and a good ol’ Frito pie.

We used to walk around recognizing faces from the past and seeing folks in weird clothes. (Like a woman wrapped in cellophane.) Now we’re lucky to know or remember their names. The arts and crafts seem unremarkable. Most folks wear outstandingly average clothes.

From Zozobra’s ashes rises a separate gloom. Summer’s end marks the start of the “Brrr” months. Septembrr, Octobrr, Novembrr, Decembrr. Earth ends its annual Sunward nod. Now we must chin up to cold.

Winter lingered long. Summer sprang up with a blast. How will the climate change us from summer back to wintrr? A heat pump and forays south may mitigate changes. (Along with many danged appointments in climate-controlled offices. And the ever-present warmth of laundry. Grrr…)

Meanwhile, the freezer holds tubs of green chilé and packets of Frito pie base. Yum! Zobie, we’ve gotcher number.

¡Qué viva la Fiesta!