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Fire dancer Helene Luna looks up at 2020’s Zozobra, reflected in her sunglasses, while practicing for the 96th annual burning, which took place Friday.

The New Mexican

Organizers of the 96th annual burning of Zozobra are hopeful they turned a profit Friday night despite a lack of attendees.

Each year, revenue is distributed to local nonprofits working with Santa Fe youth.

Event Chairman Ray Sandoval said organizers sold over 100,000 glooms, or short messages that were burned inside the marionette, online for $1 apiece and raised over $10,000 on GoFundMe ahead of this year’s event.

“Our gross income was still over $100,000. After we pay some of our bills, we should be able to give some back to the kids of Santa Fe,” Sandoval said. “That’s not bad considering normally ticket sales are our entire source of revenue.”

Last year, nearly 64,000 people attended the burning, and Sandoval said the event raised around $480,000 and spent around $380,000, leaving around $100,000 for local nonprofits. This year, Sandoval said, 170 performers, volunteers and media members attended the burning.

Santa Fe police said Old Man Gloom did not bring additional calls Friday night.

“As far as last night goes, there did not appear to be an uptick of calls for service with the Zozobra event,” police Lt. Aaron Ortiz said Saturday. “Everything appeared normal, if not a little more quiet.”

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