Old Man Gloom rides the flames


With coronavirus in his hair and murder hornets for cufflinks, Old Man Gloom aka Zozobra, heavy with the sadness and gloom of people across New Mexico, went up in flame Friday, Sept. 4. Zozobra is a 50-foot-tall puppet effigy built and burned during the annual Fiestas de Santa Fe.

In this, his 96th year to be burned, the event was almost canceled in light of COVID-19 but it rather was simulcast by KOAT, Channel 7. People could go online and fill out their heartbreaks, concerns and anxiety to be included in Zozobra’s burning. In the end 100,000 New Mexico glooms inside made the puppet heavier than ever and he went up in spectacular flames.