Fiesta de Santa Fe (12)

Saturday, 08 September 2018 20:25

Desfiles de los Niños - Fiestas de Santa Fe's Pet Parade

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One of my favorite events of Fiestas de Santa Fe is Saturday morning's Desfile de los Niños, also known as the Pet Parade.  Since the 1930s, kids have dressed up their pets and paraded around the Plaza.  My father did it, I did it, and my children did it.  From a kid's point of view, it's exciting to have perhaps your first moment in the spotlight, and from the adults point of view, it's the cutest thing ever.  But participating is not without its' difficulties.

In 1952, my parents decided that it was our turn.  Not satisfied with putting crepe paper flowers and a tutu on our dog, my dad found a burro that he rented for $20.  My mom made my brother David and I little Mexican peon outfits, complete with sombreros.  Mom later told me that she stayed up all Friday night finishing "the g-- d----- things."  Saturday morning, we met the guy with the burro at the beginning of the parade and saddled up.  The owner said that he would meet us at the end.  It was really fun being the center of attention.  For maybe a block.  At that point, Señor Burro had had enough and came to a dead stop.  With the parade backing up behind us, my dad and a friend of his tugged, pushed, cursed, and slapped him on the rump, to no avail.  As the rest of the parade squeezed by us, I remember standing on the curb and realizing that our parade was over.  That burro stayed right where he stopped until long after the parade had passed.  His owner finally showed up, took up the halter rope, and led him docily away,  Why my dad didn't have him stick around during the entire parade I never found out.

In the mid 1970s, we entered our daughters and our dog Sophie.  This time it was much simpler - crepe paper flowers and a tutu.  Unfortunately, this was the one year that the Fiesta Council decided to hold the parade in the afternoon rather than the morning.  A half hour into the parade the pavement had gotton so hot that dogs were heading for any shade they could find and refusing to move.  I ended up carrying Sophie for most of the route while my kids got to wave at the crowd.

It seems to be more fun watching the parade than participating in it.  But, given the chance, I'd do it again in a heartbeat!

Thursday, 06 September 2018 02:03

Dancing on the plaza at Fiestas de Santa Fe about 1957-58

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Christine Lacey, Roberta Ortiz y Pino, & Tina Miller ready to dance at Fiestas de Santa Fe with Dorothy Parks studio. Those costumes were so heavy and hot made of flannel and velvet. I remember during the performance that I was in between Bobby and Tina. We were all to do a high kick turn together. I did mine and the leg I was standing slipped and I crashed to the stage. I wanted to run off I was so embarrassed. Took a deep breath and managed to get in step with the other girls and finished the dance. I’m sure my face was red for the remainder of it though. 

Saturday, 01 September 2018 21:45

Santa Fe Fiesta Program - 1922

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This is the official program of the Santa Fe Fiesta, 1922.  In the early days of the Fiesta, the events were catorigized daily per the page shown below.  Santa Fe Trail Day, De Vargas Day, and Indian Day, which featured the first Indian Market.  The Entrada was celebrated, as well as the Santa Fe Trail, which had ceased operation only 45 years previously and was still remembered by many folks.  There was no Zozobra, Pet Parade, or Historical/Hysterical Parade.  The State Armory mentioned was on Washington Avenue, right behind the Palace of the Governors, where the Fray Angelico Chavez library is today. Thanks to Ron Trujillo for providing the program.


Santa Fe Fiesta program 2 1922

Program of events, Santa Fe Fiesta, 1922

Armory Santa Fe 1919

New Mexico State Armory, 1919

Indian Fair display Armory Fiesta 1922 First

Indian Day display, State Armory, Santa Fe Fiesta, 1922 

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,

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