Carnival returns to Fiesta Days in Aztec

Hannah Grover
Nyonica Ponder is chased by Jordan Seagrave during Fiesta Days on June 6, 2015, at Minium Park in Aztec

FARMINGTON — A carnival is returning to Aztec's Fiesta Days this year after a brief hiatus.

Frazier Shows' carnival opens its gates this evening for the annual celebration. While the carnival will continue through Sunday, the majority of Fiesta Days events will be held Saturday.

Sandra Lanier, the secretary of the Aztec Chamber of Commerce board of directors, said Fiesta Days is the chamber's largest fundraiser. A schedule of events is available online at

Last year, the chamber decided not to include a carnival in the event because it was unable to book Frazier Carnival. In 2014, the chamber had chosen to go with a different smaller carnival company and, Lanier said, the chamber hardly broke even.

Junior Jackson, left, Rachel Idzerda, Greg Harris and Sarah Marquez perform with fellow members of San Juan College's The Company June 6, 2015, during Fiesta Days at Minium Park in Aztec

Chamber officials decided to change the date of the annual celebration because it previously conflicted with KidFest. The change of date also meant that the chamber could once again hire Frazier Shows to set up in Riverside Park, Lanier said.

While the chamber will be bringing back the carnival, it has also had to scale back its car show because the club that has put on the show in the past decided not to do it this year, Lanier said.

Instead, the chamber will put on a "wash and shine" car show. Lanier said people can polish their cars or motorcycles, bring them down to the park and show them off. The chamber will charge a $5 entrance fee for cars and $3 for motorcycles. The participants will be entered into a drawing for a prize, Lanier said.

Saturday night will also include the burning of Old Man Gloom. People write their worries on pieces of paper that are placed inside the effigy, Lanier explained. She said the Aztec High School Key Club then lights the effigy on fire.

Lanier compared the burning of Old Man Gloom to the Santa Fe burning of Zozobra.

"It's just an Aztec tradition," she said.

Hannah Grover covers Aztec and Bloomfield, as well as general news, for The Daily Times. She can be reached at 505-564-4652.