Queens for a lifetime
La Reina de la Fiesta is a modern invention with roots dating back to Don Diego de Vargas’ reconquest of Santa Fe in 1692-1693. The first Fiesta queen, Amalia Sena-Sanchez, was crowned in 1927, three years after the inaugural burning of Zozobra. Many former queens remember their reigns as a pivotal time in their lives — a rite of passage to adulthood. Although La Reina is a civic figure — her duties include visiting schools and nursing homes and participating in processions — her role is deeply tied to Catholicism. On the cover is Juan Rios’ photograph of the coronation of Linda Marie Romero-Esquibel, 1978’s Fiesta queen; image courtesy the Palace of the Governors Photo Archives (NMHM/DCA), Negative No. HP.2014.14.634.