Zozobra organizers hope to bring back attendees this year

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ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. — Organizers of the 97th annual burning of Zozobra in Santa Fe said Old Man Gloom will go up in flames no matter what this year, but there’s still questions about whether visitors will be able to attend the event in person.

“And the answer is we hope so, and we’re planning for that,” said Ray Sandoval, Zozobra event chair.

Sandoval said it’s still too early to tell whether crowds will be able to gather in Fort Marcy Park, but they’re planning for three possible outcomes.

The first idea would be to keep the event fully virtual, just like they did last year. Sandoval also mentioned the possibility of having a hybrid event with a limited crowd. Lastly, the third option would be to have a full scale event.

“We hope we can all be together as a community. Vaccinations are going fantastic, especially in our state, so kudos to the governor and our health officials so we’re really hoping,” Sandoval said.

This year, the Zozobra decades project will return, which counts down the decades to the 100th anniversary of Zozobra in 2024. Old Man Gloom is planning on bringing back the 80s this year.

Organizers are currently taking submissions from adults and kids to design this year’s poster and t-shirt.

“We really want you to deck out Zozobra in the big hair 80s style,” Sandoval said. “If you want to go for metal, or for indie, or pop, we’re really excited to see what folks take of Zozobra was back in the 1980s.”

Old Man Gloom is set to burn Sept. 3. Until then, there are still 149 days left for New Mexico is beat this virus so the community can hopefully burn away their troubles together.

“We’re hoping that by July we can go ahead and say that it’s a full on. Come on down and burn your gloom. Maybe we can even tell folks they can burn their mask instead of their gloom this year, but it might be a little too early for that. Might have to save that for 2022,” Sandoval said.

For more information about the design contest, click here.