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Wednesday, 7 May 2008

Zozobra Inducted into New Mexico Tourism Hall of Fame


Will Shuster's Zozobra Inducted into Tourism Hall of Fame at2008 New Mexico Governor's Conference on Tourism

Santa Fe, New Mexico, May 5, 2008– The Tourism Association of New Mexico recently inducted Will Shuster's Zozobra into the Tourism Hall of Fame at the 2008 Governor's Conference on Tourism, held in Roswell. The honor came as a result of a nomination by the Santa Fe Convention and Visitors Bureau.

The enormous puppet Zozobra was created in 1924 by William Howard 'Will' Shuster, Jr., a Santa Fe artist inspired by the Holy Week celebrations of the Yaqui Indians of Mexico, which featured an effigy of Judas that was filled with firecrackers, led around the village on a donkey, and then burned. The name "Zozobra" was coined by Shuster and E. Dana Johnson, a newspaper editor and friend of the artist. They defined the moniker as meaning " the gloomy one" in Spanish.

The centerpiece of Santa Fe's annual Fiesta celebration, Zozobra is ceremonially burned each September in a giant bonfire during a special event that has been staged by the Santa Fe Kiwanis Club since 1963. Zozobra has become an international symbol for Santa Fe, drawing visitors from around the world to the City Different for more than 80 years. Today, some 30,000 spectators annually come out to witness Old Man Gloom going up in smoke.

Since 1952, the burning of Zozobra has raised more than $279,525 in higher education scholarships for Santa Fe high school students and other youth programs, such as one that provides camp fees for physically challenged children.

Says Ray Valdez, Will Shuster's Zozobra Event Producer, "It's a great honor to be included among the other amazing New Mexico tourism features. Kiwanis Club of Santa Fe is proud to fund so many programs for youth in our community."


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