Why You Need to Experience the Burning of Zozobra

The City Different is full of many incredible cultural traditions that celebrate native art, history, and cuisine. You can immerse yourself in a handful of these traditions through one of the annual celebrations taking place in the area. The Burning of Zozobra is one of the most unique and bizarre commemorations of Santa Fe culture and is a must-see if you are in town during the end of the summer. Trust us; you won’t want to miss out on this sensational experience.

For more ideas on the best ways to spend your time in the City Different, request our free Vacation Guide. It’s full of events, restaurants, historical sites, and outdoor adventures that make our beautiful city one of the hottest destinations in the country.

Get the Vacation Guide

Your Guide to the Burning of Zozobra Event

What Is It?

The Burning of Zozobra began in 1924 when Will Shuster and a group of deep-thinkers built this giant marionette puppet based on a Holy Week religious ceremony in Santa Fe. The 50-foot structure served as the focus of this private event for local artists and writers, which they burned it an act to rid their minds of anxiety, gloom, and anguish (Zozobra means “the gloomy one” in Spanish). The members of the festival then dressed up their pets and paraded them around Santa Fe Plaza. After a couple of years, this event became a massive hit in the community and opened up to the public. The tradition of the Burning of Zozobra still stands strong today with plenty of celebrations, vendors, and other forms of entertainment held by the Kiwanis Club every year.

When Is It? 

The Burning of Zozobra takes place on the evening of August 30th and runs through the night. The gates open at 4:30 p.m., pre-show entertainment begins at 7 p.m., and the burning starts at 9 p.m. You can expect the event to run even if it rains that night, as they plan on reveling in this fun and exciting Santa Fe tradition unless there are extreme weather conditions. 

Where Is It?

Fort Marcy Park is the main site of the Burning of Zozobra festival. We recommend taking public transportation or a shuttle from the downtown area to the park, so you don’t have to deal with parking. It’s less than a mile from Santa Fe Plaza so you can walk to and from the park in less than 15 minutes. However, if you do decide to drive there, be sure to check their listing of road closures for that afternoon and evening.

Purchase tickets from their website beforehand to ensure a spot at this incredible celebration in the City Different!

Plan Your Santa Fe Adventurea guest room at El Farolito

Make the most of your Santa Fe experience by booking a stay at El Farolito Inn. Our authentic bed and breakfast is steps from the heart of town and offers eight comfortable and beautiful rooms that add the perfect accent to your trip. You also receive a delicious gourmet breakfast each morning of your stay, so you can head out and explore the best of our unique city on a full stomach. 

Start planning your vacation today by booking one of our rooms. We look forward to welcoming you to the second oldest city in the country!