Red Rally will take place on Johnson Field on Thursday, Sept. 19th at 8 p.m.

One of the University of New Mexico’s largest annual events according to the Lobolife website, Red Rally has been rated one of Sports Illustrated’s '102 Things You Have To Do Before You Graduate’ for college students across the country.

The classic UNM event is held each year to kick off the biggest football game in New Mexico— UNM versus New Mexico State.

Known as the Rio Grande Rivalry, UNM and NMSU have been playing each other since 1894 — years before New Mexico was even a state.

To celebrate the Land of Enchantment’s famous rivalry, UNM students will construct a giant version of the NMSU mascot "Pistol Pete" and burn it down. Every year, thousands of students gather to watch and celebrate the incredible sight of a 25-foot tall maroon cowboy being burnt to the ground.

As a display of school spirit, the Red Rally is not unique to New Mexico. A longstanding tradition at Texas A&M University also features the burning of a massive bonfire before their rivalry game with the University of Texas.

The UNM football team and marching band will be at the event to provide student support and music.

Colin Peña is a beat reporter at the Daily Lobo. He can be contacted at or on Twitter @penyacolin