Wednesday, August 04, 2004


Forget Bush, Kerry and the presidential race. It looks like the most divisive political battle in Santa Fe at the moment is the decision over who is going to be Fire Dancer at Zozobra.

James "Chip" Lilienthal was responsible for that role since 1970 when it was passed on to him by the original Fire Dancer Jacques Cartier. Last year Lilienthal announced he was retiring and was "passing the torch" to his daughter Katy. I interviewed Chip back in 1980 or '81 for The Santa Fe Reporter and he said back then that when he retired, he'd like one of his daughters to take his place.

However, the Kiwanis Club of Santa Fe, which owns the rights to Zozobra, had a different idea. The club announced Tuesday that Helene Luna, a former Santa Fe resident now living in Denver, is the new Fire Dancer. The Kiwanis press release said pointedly that the role was not Lilienthal's to give away.

I wrote about it in today's Santa Fe New Mexican. CLICK HERE.

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