Up in Smoke
Every year in the South Valley a 25-foot-tall bogeyman is burned to cinders. Author Rudolfo Anaya, who helped start the ritual more than 20 years ago, refers to El Kookooee as "an effigy of our own personal and communal fears." The burning will take place tonight at 6 p.m. at the ball fields on Isleta three blocks south of Rio Bravo, behind the South Valley Library. This year's statue was designed by seventh-grader Tyler Young, and is being assembled by a group of volunteer artists. Festivities include music and dancing from Raks Zeina Bellydancers, Circulo Solar Ollin Fire Dancers and Xochipilli Aztec Dancers. Food and Kookooee merchandise will be available. Remember to write down your fears on paper, stick them in El Kookooee and watch them vanish into the blazing night sky.