Zozobra planners prepared for first Friday night burning since 1997

Updated: 08/29/2014 6:45 PM | Created: 08/29/2014 4:53 PM
By: Erica Zucco, KOB Eyewitness News 4

SANTA FE -- Friday night marks the 90th Burning of Zozobra in Santa Fe, and for the first time since 1997, the event is being held on a Friday.

It was moved to Thursdays after a shooting at the 1997 event. That year, organizers decided weekend nights were getting too wild.

This year, planners say they're confident they can keep things under control while making it possible for more people to cheer on Zozobra's burning without school or work looming the next day.

Santa Fe police say every officer is on duty tonight in case something happens. Ushers have been told to watch the crowd, which is expected to number around 30,000 people. The city has closed roads, and has a new safety command center to help keep things under control. More security personnel will be on hand than in years past.

"I think it's great, because more people can come," said Zozobra attendee Danielle Ortega. "You have the whole weekend, and don't have to go to school in the morning."

The Kiwanis Charity Fund paid for an independent study about ensuring safety at this year's event. National representatives from the charity attended meetings about safety as well.

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