Celebrating its 294th Fiesta, since 1712, when Governor Marquez de La Peñuela signed a proclamation that established the first Fiesta de Santa Fe - to commemorate Don Diego De Vargas' peaceful reoccupation of the city in 1692, following the 1680 the Indian revolt, when the city was burned and the Spanish colonists were driven out - Santa Fe's Plaza burst into colorful flags, banners and tents, while its crisp southwest air filled with the sounds of song and dance - as Mariachi bands, Flamenco dancers and other entertainers took their turns on the stage in the city’s central Plaza. The entertainment also flowed off the stage and onto the streets around the Plaza and into surrounding hotels, restaurants and street corners as Mariachi bands performed for jubliant Fiesta goers, who came to Santa Fe’s Plaza to enjoy the entertainment , taste the the chili-spicy foods of the Southwest at the many food tents, and see Southwest arts and crafts on display in and around the Plaza.

Each year Fiesta is kicked off with the dramatic burning of Zozobra, a fifty-foot boogeyman marionette created by Santa Fe artist Will Shuster in 1926. The event is staged each year by the Kiwanis Club of Santa Fe. Zozobra representsa ritual burning in effigy of Old Man Gloom to drive away bad spirits and dispel the hardships of the past year.

Founded in 1610, the historic city of Santa Fe is one of the oldest cities in the United States. Originally established a trade center by the Spanish, it became territorial capital in 1851 and the New Mexico state capital in 1912.


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