Preparations underway for this year's Zozobra

Posted at: 09/04/2013 6:48 PM
Updated at: 09/05/2013 8:22 AM
By: Stuart Dyson, KOB Eyewitness News 4

SANTA FE -- Thursday night, the big dude will go out in a blaze of glory.

It's Zozobra time in Santa Fe, and organizers say this year's event is going to make history, by going back in history. It's back to the 1920s, when Santa Fe artist Will Shuster dreamed up Zozobra and the beautifully insane performance that leads to the burning of Old Man Gloom.

On Wednesday, KOB Eyewitness News 4 found Ray Sandoval putting the final touches on the face paint for the 50-foot-tall cloth, paper and wire sculpture. Sandoval is a Santa Fe lawyer, and this is his first year in charge of the whole flaming production. His recipe is Will Shuster's original drawings and instructions from almost 90 years ago.


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"By the time we got to 2012, we really muddled up what Shuster's script was," Sandoval said. "We went back and actually looked back and said okay, what did he want us to accomplish? So people are going to see a very, very different Zozobra, but it's going to bring back all the folklore and fun that Will Shuster had created."

This year it's going to cost you just $10 to get into Fort Marcy Park to see the big guy burn. That's down from $20 last year, which had a lot of people complaining. The money goes to the Kiwanis Club of Santa Fe for college scholarships and charities for kids. All of it is fueled by sadness and gloom. Zozobra is stuffed with all of the bad dreams and bummers and heartbreaks and horrors that we want to see go up in smoke and flames.

Santa Fe is offering $5 parking at all of the city lots and structures around downtown, with shuttle service included. As in the past, bus fares will be free on Thursday night.