What do you get when you cross a 290+ year-old festival with a 50-foot burning effigy in a dress, Santa Fe's version of Burning Man: Zozobra. Old Man Gloom, Zozobra's other moniker, is a gigantic white-robed marionette with flaming red hair originally designed William Shuster, Jr. in 1924. The Fiesta de Santa Fe began way back when in 1712 to celebrate the end of the Pueblo Revolt and the restablishment of power by the marquis of Penuela, Jose Chacon Medina Salazar y Villaseor.
Shuster was originally inspired to create Zozobra at a private fiesta for local artisans he was holding at his home. He got the idea from the Yaqui Indians of Mexico who fill an effigy of Judas with firecrackers and burn it during their Holy Week celebrations. Shuster personally oversaw the construction (and torching) of Zozobra until 1964 when he handed the reigns over to the local chapter of the Kiawanis Club. Each year over 3,500 man-hours are spent making the puppet for America's oldest community celebration. Over 30,000 people are expected to attend this year's festivities this weekend; here's a quick video of the big dancing man of doom from 2004-
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