People's worries, written on a piece of paper and stuffed inside Old Man Gloom, go up in flames during Aztec Fiesta Days in June 2012. (Daily Times file photo)
IF YOU GO
Bennett s Amusement Carnival: 5 to 11 p.m. across from Minium Park, 200 N. Park Ave.
Fiesta Days Races: 7 to 11 p.m. at Aztec Speedway, 300 Legion Road
Aztec Ruins Lecture Series: What Dine/Navajo narratives tell us about early Navajo presence in the Southwest by Jennifer Denetdale, 7 to 8:30 p.m. at the Aztec Ruins National Monument
Free Movie: Wreck It Ralph will play at dusk at Minium Park.
All You Can Eat Breakfast: 7 to 11 a.m. at the Aztec Senior Center, 101 S. Park Ave. Prices are $6 for adults, $4 for children.
Deacons Yard Sale: 8 a.m. to noon at the Aztec Presbyterian Church, 205 N. Church Ave.
Charity 5K Trail Run: 9 a.m. at Tiger Park, 1301 Old Spanish Trail. Proceeds go to the Aztec Animal Shelter.
Vendor Booths: Open from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. at Minium Park
Cruisin Into Summertime Parade:10 a.m. in downtown Aztec
Kids-N-Pets Parade and Costume Contest: 10 a.m. Entry is free. Registration starts at 9 a.m.
Live Music:10:30 a.m. to noon San Juan College s Company will be playing at Minium Park
Geotourism Fair: 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. at Aztec Ruins National Monument
Hot Spot Classic Car Show:10 a.m. to 3 p.m. Winners announced at 3:45 p.m. at Minium Park
Live Music: Noon to 3 p.m. Suave will be playing at Minium Park.
Animas River Raft Rides: Noon to 5 p.m. Shuttles leave Minium Park, every 15 minutes. Raft rides are free.
Ducks for Bucks: Noon to 5 p.m. at Wines of the San Juan, 233 N.M. Highway 511, in Turley. Proceeds go to families with children diagnosed with Niemann-Pick Disease.
Bennett s Amusement Carnival: Noon to 11 p.m. across from Minium Park
Bluegrass Jam: 1 p.m. at the HiWay Grill, 401 NE Aztec Blvd.
Native American Dance Performances: 3 to 4:30 p.m. at Minium Park
Open Mic Night:6 p.m. at the HiWay Grill
Fiesta Days Races: 8 to 11 p.m. at Aztec Speedway
Live Music: 7:30 to 9:30 p.m. Reverend Catfish will be performing at Minium Park
Burning of Old Man Gloom: 9 p.m. at Minium Park
Bennett s Amusement Carnival: Noon to 7 p.m. across from Minium Park
East Aztec Ruins Tours: 3 to 4 p.m. at Aztec Ruins National Monument. Reservation required.
Music in the Courtyard: 4 to 7 p.m. at Wines of the San Juan
Farmington — From a carnival to geotourism tours and a classic car show, Aztec Fiesta Days offers a weekend full of activities and entertainment.
Originally started in the 1960s, Aztec Fiesta Days has grown to include events across the town. Red Apple Transit even provides a free shuttle to transport people from one location to another.
Fiesta Days began Thursday with the carnival that opened at 5 p.m. Events continue through Sunday.
Christa Rommé from the Aztec Chamber of Commerce said the carnival is the only one that travels to Aztec.
One of the annual highlights is the burning of Old Man Gloom. Rommé said the tradition was started by the Kiwanis Club and is based on a similar tradition in Santa Fe, the burning of Zozobra.
Old Man Gloom is a marionette effigy.
"You write your worries down and put them inside him," Rommé said.
When the effigy is burned, it symbolizes burning away your worries so you can start summer worry-free, Rommé said.
This year, local band Reverend Catfish will play while the effigy burns.Rommé said in addition to the burning of Old Man Gloom, one of her favorite activities is the parade, which features children and pets in costumes.
"It's so cute to see the kids and pets dressed up," she said.
Most of the events are free, and there will be live music. The Aztec Ruins National Monument will also be holding its second annual geotourism fair in conjunction with Aztec Fiesta Days. The shuttle will provide rides to the ruins during the geotourism fair, and Native American dancers will perform at the fair.Rommé said the chamber started preparing for this year's fiesta days almost as soon as organizers finished last year's event.
"It's a ton of fun," Rommé said. "And it's always a beautiful day." Hannah Grover covers arts and religion for the Farmington Daily Times. She can be reached at 505-564-4652 and firstname.lastname@example.org. Follow her on twitter @hmgrover.