A distinct orange glow lit up the night sky on Sept. 9 as hundreds of students flocked to Johnson Field for Red Rally. This annual event featured the burning of a 25-foot-tall Aggie effigy ahead of the University of New Mexico’s rivalry football match against New Mexico State University, which happened on Saturday, Sept. 11.

This year was the first time Red Rally has taken place since 2019, following the COVID-19 shutdown that began in March 2020.

The rally began with a few short words from Lobo Spirit Executive Director Joshua LaFayette, ASUNM President Greg Romero, UNM President Garnett Stokes and members of the UNM football team, all hyping up the student body for a rivalry game win.



Romero spoke to the Daily Lobo about the importance of bringing students back on campus for spirit events such as Red Rally.

“Students are going to be back on our campus experiencing what it truly means to be a Lobo,” Romero said. “These are the things that make UNM great. I could not be more excited.”

Romero went on to elaborate on the importance of maintaining tradition after something as large-scale as the COVID-19 shutdown.

“Especially with the pandemic and being off for a year and a half, it’s very easy to lose tradition and lose that school spirit,” Romero said. “We’re a little bit surprised with how quick it has come back. Students are ready to go. Students are just excited as they were before, maybe even more.”

John Scott is the photo editor at the Daily Lobo. He can be contacted at photoeditor@dailylobo.com or on Twitter @JScott050901