Museum of New Mexico Press


Elvis Romero and Fiesta de Santa Fe

Featuring Zozobra's Great Escape

Andrew Leo Lovato, Author

For three centuries the Fiesta de Santa Fe, the oldest community celebration in the country, has evolved to include parades and processions, especially the burning in effigy of Zozobra, or Old Man Gloom each autumn. Accompanied by rare historical photographs, this book illuminates what is special about Santa Fe's yearly celebration in a fiesta memoir and novella.


"More than a colorful retelling of a young boy's realization, the book is also a narrative of the past. Black and white photographs of the fiesta's past complete the story [and] also complement the last part of the book, a Fiesta de Santa Fe timeline, which chronicles the start of the Santa Fe Fiesta from 1625 to present day."
-New Mexico Daily Lobo


Lovato captures many of the historical and ritual goings-on of the 299-year-old Fiesta de Santa Fe with text and photographs from the Palace of the Governors Photo Archives. Lovato also includes a thrilling fictional tale, the centerpiece of the book, about a boy named Elvis Romero and his cousin and best friend, a girl named Pepa. In the story, Elvis and Pepa decide to liberate Zozobra from his appointed fate, and hatch a plan to hide him. The author zeroes in on his own childhood fears and worries about Zozobra's safety through his central characters, who are amalgams of the kids he grew up with in Santa Fe. Lovato examines, in a playful and sentimental way, the feelings of empathy he and other children had and do have for Zozobra.


"a lovingly crafted tome featuring stories about Fiesta de Santa Fe and idyllic black-and-white photography."
-Santa Fe Reporter

Trim: 9.5" x 7.5"

Pages: 76

Illustrations: 20 duotone photographs

Folklore/Folk Arts




Cloth $22.50