Fiesta de Santa Fe (9)

Saturday, 16 July 2016 17:21

Santa Fe Fiestas Parades - 1929 to 1957

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The Palace of the Governors Photo Archives has a 23 minute video spanning the Santa Fe Fiestas parades from 1929 to 1957.  The La Conquistadora Procession, the DeVargas Entrada, the Pet Parade, and the Historical Parade the way they used to be, when the celebration was by and for the community.  A far cry from what it is today.


--Mike Lord

Tuesday, 02 September 2014 00:25

Santa Fe Fiestas Early 1920's

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Santa FeFiestas Early 1920's


Arthur Scott



   The two photos are personal family photosgraphs from 1919-1922? These were taken on "The Santa Fe Trail" day of the then four day Fiestas.  The photo above was taken at the corner of Shelby and San Francisco streets with Capital Pharmacy in the background. The coach is my grandfather's stage, "The Mountain Pride. The head of Chief Victorio is painted on the door. This coach is currently exhibited at the Lincoln County Courthouse at the Lincoln State Monument. You may read the history of this coach at:

Wednesday, 16 October 2013 22:06

The Annual Fiesta de Santa Fe Fashion Show

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Adelina Ortiz y Hill has identified the person in this picture as Marie Isabela Sena. Adelina, a charter member of Voces de Santa Fe and a Santa Fe Living Treasure, was a personal acquaintance of Marie’s. Marie was the 1933 Fiesta de Santa Fe Queen. She is pictured here modeling fiesta queen attire from her past reign at a merienda, afternoon tea, at Sena Plaza, which was her ancestral home.

The Sociedad Folklorica held fashion shows on Sunday afternoons during the annual Fiesta de Santa Fe. According to Adelina, traditional refreshments served at the fashion shows included chocolate and biscochitos.

The fashion show pictured here occurred in the 1940’s, several years after Marie herself reigned as Fiesta Queen.




Tuesday, 15 October 2013 19:50

List of names of the 1927 - 1994 Santa Fe Fiesta Queens

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Source:  Johnny Valdez, longtime Chair of the Santa Fe Fiesta Council, creator of the list

Provided by Adelina Ortiz de Hill, Santa Fe Living Treasure and 1940s Santa Fe Fiesta Princess

Fiesta de Santa Fe 1942 or 1943? Archbishop Byrne or Gerkin? Fiesta Queen Pita Tapia or Navidad Quintana?


Voces de Santa Fe asks for your help in identifying the people in this never before seen photo from a private collection.  The Fiesta de Santa Fe Queen might be the 1943 queen. Could this be Pita Tapia-Gonzales who was the 1943 queen? If this IS the 1943 Fiesta Queen, it will help in identifying the Archbishop. Could this be Archbishop Edwin Vincent Byrne, ordained in June, just a few months before the 1943 Fiesta de Santa Fe? If so, this is likely one of the earliest public photos of Archbishop Byrne in his capacity of Archbishop of Santa Fe. If not, would this be Archbishop Gerkin?


Thank you for any information you may be able to provide.

(In the background, just above the roof of the house, one can see spires of the St. Francis Cathedral.  This may be the Magoffin house were the La Fonda parking lot is located today.)





Saturday, 21 September 2013 16:16

Zozobra - 1943

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In 1943, America was at war. Despite this, the Santa Fe Fiesta, with its opening night burning of Zozobra, was held. That year produced the most unusual Zozobra before or since.

Zozobra (Old Man Gloom) had been created by artist Will Shuster and his friends in 1926. His immolation was a sign of sending up in flames all of the bad thoughts and events of the previous year, giving everyone a fresh start. It is difficult to imagine a year where this would be more meaningful than 1943.

That year, Shuster combined the eyes and glasses of Emperor Hirohito, the hair and brush mustache of Adolf Hitler and the prominent chin of Benito Mussolini into a Zozobra that he named Hirohitmus.

However, in late July, 1943, Mussolini was deposed and imprisoned by the Allied forces. In the Sunday, August 15, 1943 issue of the Brooklyn Eagle there appeared an article under the heading “Sign of the Times” which commented:

“Famed Fiesta at Santa Fe, N.M., each September used to have a three-faced figure called Zozobra, “Old Man Gloom” which was burned at the stake. This year artist Will Shuster thought it would be a nice idea to call the effigy “Zozobra Hirohitmus.” So he did. Last week, however, he announced that he had changed the name, of necessity, to “Zozobra Hirohittlepus.” Added that he was in the market for more changes.”

Hirohitmus or Hirohittlepus, he was burned and Santa Fe felt a little better. By 1945, it was evident that it must have helped.

This photo also shows the way that Zozobra was ignited then.  There is a wall of tumbleweeds 3 - 4 feet deep in front of Zozobra and stacks of wood in front of the tumbleweeds.  The wood piles (luminarias) were lit first and then the tumbleweeds.  Zozobra burned from the ground up after that.


- Mike Lord


Tuesday, 27 August 2013 18:02

Santa Fe Fiestas Pasatiempo-Hysterical Parade

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Santa Fe Fiestas Pasotiempo-Hysterical Parade

By Arthur Scott


   In 1924 Hewett and the museum of New Mexico, under his directorship controlled the Santa Fe Fiestas. Admission was charged for most events including the De Vargas pageant and other military and social pageants which were held on Museum property. Most of the Fiestas celebration was somber.  

   The art colony of Santa Fe felt that they had moved to Santa Fe in part to be part of a community and that the cost of admission to fiesta events excluded many citizens. The gay poet, Witter Bynner and Dolly Sloan, wife of artist John Sloan, teamed up to start a free event called “Pasatiempo.”  According to Chris Wilson, The Myth of Santa Fe, 1997, Pasatiempo included “band concerts, community singing and street dancing, on the Plaza, a children's animal show, and the wildly popular Hysterical Pageant. People from all social strata pulled heirloom clothes from their trunks, made floats and costumes, and decorated theca cars, horses, and burros for this parade. Tongue-in-cheek parodies of historic figures, tourists, and tourist stereotypes porliferated. If the De Vargas pageants were historical murals solemnly brought to life,  then t ten-foot--tall shirts and pants of one year's Hysterical Pageant were attention-grabbing pop icons--everyday items cut loose from their cultural moorings and inflated to a bizarre size in the manner ot modern advertising and the French surrealists. In the spirit of carnival, for tt tat people began calling Pasatiempo, "the grand carnival," `artists Will Shuster and Gustave Baumann fabricated Zozobra in1926. This effigy of gloom,

Wednesday, 04 April 2012 15:15

De Vargas pageant ca 1911

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The history of the De Vargas pageant in Santa Fe and the Seligman influence


Arthur Scott



   The pageant which portrays the entry of de Vargas to Santa Fe in 1692 actually began in 1911, as New Mexico was preparing for statehood; and contrary to what many now believe.  In the beginning, it had nothing to do with the Santa Fe Fiestas. The pageants were first held in conjunction with the town’s Fourth of July festivities. The pageant was intended to emulate the popular pageants being held in eastern cities and Europe at the time.

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