Stuffed with worries and fears, the burning of Old Man Gloom lets participants in the annual event watch their worries go up in smoke. Santa Fe celebrated the 93rd annual burning of Zozobra on Sept 1.

Last year, more than 55,000 people attended the event, and this year’s crowd seemed to rival that record-breaking number.

The first burning of Zozobra took place in 1924 when creator Will Shuster designed and burned the first 6-foot tall puppet. The burning of “the Beast” is supposed to release all the gloom of the past year.

Zozobra sported a brown sweater this year, inspired by the 50s-themed TV show “Father Knows Best.” Old Man Gloom also sported Fonzie thumbs. His wardrobe and stance were done in celebration of the Decades Project, the celebration of each decade until the 100th burning of Zozobra.

Text and images by Celia Raney

Celia Raney is the news editor at the Daily Lobo. She can be contacted at or on Twitter @Celia_Raney.