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Fiesta de Santa Fe

When Don Diego de Vargas re-settled Spanish rule in New Mexico, he made a promise to a statue of a virgin named La Conquistadora. He told her that if he could do this peacefully he would honor her with a fiesta. So every year since 1712 Santa Fe celebrates fiesta. It takes place in September the Friday after Labor Day. This is the oldest fiesta in the United States. In 2009 the Historic Santa Fe Foundation hosted a fiesta party at El Zaguan on Canyon Road where people were encouraged to dress in fiesta attire from the 1930's.

Fiesta de Santa Fe is made up of many activities. Every year someone of Hispanic heritage is selected to portray Don Diego de Vargas and La Reina. The contestants are required to give their presentation on the history of Santa Fe in both Spanish and English. The crowing of Don Diego de Vargas and La Reina usually takes place in June. After this ceremony in the St. Francis Cathedral there is a procession with the fiesta court and La Conquistadora to El Rosario. La Conquistadora stays there for a week and then there is another procession to bring her back to the cathedral. From spring to the close of fiesta in September the fiesta court can be seen everywhere in New Mexico.

Another tradition of fiesta is the burning of Old Man Gloom known as Zozobra. He was created by the artist Will Schuster in 1924. On Saturday morning the Desfile de los Ninos (pet parade) takes place on the streets surrounding the Plaza. This colorful event is celebrated with pets, children and their parents. It's always a crowd pleaser during Fiesta. Another activity is the Hysterical/Historical Parade on Sunday afternoon. Throughout fiesta there is continuos entertainment on the bandstand. My favorite group to watch is Maria Benitez's Next Generation. These girls are fabulous flamenco dancers!

Fiesta concludes on Sunday evening with a candle light procession to the Cross of the Martyrs after a mass held at the St. Francis Cathedral Basilica.
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Fiesta Procession
Fiesta Procession
La-Conquistadora-procession.jpg
La-Conquistadora-procession.jpg
Flower girls
Flower girls
La Reina & Attendents
La Reina & Attendents
Cabelleros with La Conqusitadora
Cabelleros with La Conqusitadora
La Reina & Don Diego de Vargas
La Reina & Don Diego de Vargas
Preparing for procession
Preparing for procession
Singing
Singing
Priests leaving El Rosario
Priests leaving El Rosario
Returning La Conquistadora
Returning La Conquistadora
Praying
Praying
Flowers girls returning
Flowers girls returning
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