If you missed Zozobra or Burning Man, then you’re in luck.
The University of New Mexico has a similar tradition during its 12th annual Red Rally Bonfire and Pep Rally, hosted by ASUNM’s Lobo Spirit Committee.
This year’s rally begins at 8 p.m. Thursday on Johnson Field and will feature UNM’s Spirit Squad, Marching Band, members of the UNM football team and, of course, a 25-foot tall Aggie effigy to be burned to prep before the NMSU-UNM game.
The fire is expected to start around 8:30 p.m. after players and coaches speak and the marching band performs the fight song.
The event is free and open to UNM students.
A UNM student sits next to a pile of tissues and crumbled newspapers used to build the Aggie for Red Rally on Aug. 30, 2017. The Aggie typically stands 25 feet tall and takes about 30 hours to build.
According to a release, approximately 3,000 students attended last year’s Red Rally. The event was rated 55th in the “Sports Illustrated” article, "102 Things You Have To Do Before You Graduate."
Some UNM students show their school pride by participating in the “Aggie Build” to construct the effigy at the Sigma Chi Fraternity House on Yale Blvd. and Las Lomas Rd.
Although the construction process takes about 30 hours, the Aggie takes eight to 12 minutes to burn, Lobo Spirit Executive Director Kaylie Huizenga said.
Hundreds of people may volunteer for the project and at Red Rally, she said. The UNM Physical Plant Department and UNM students transport the Aggie, while police and firefighters are on hand to make sure all safety precautions are followed properly.
The Aggie figure is constructed out “over 10,000 napkins, 5,000 newspaper pages, chicken wire, conduit, blood, sweat and tears,” according to Lobo Spirit.
When asked at a coaches luncheon if the rivalry between UNM and NMSU had diminished over the six years he has been coaching the football team, Bob Davie said, “Nothing really has changed.”
He sees the rivalry between the two schools continuing as strong as ever and hopes to give UNM students more reasons to be proud of their team, who will face NMSU at Dreamstyle Stadium Saturday, Sept. 9 at 6 p.m.
Aaron Cowan is a volunteer sports reporter for the Daily Lobo. He primarily covers volleyball and men's and women's golf. He can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org or on Twitter @AaronTCowan.