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Santa Fe County provides safety tips for the El Santuario de Chimayó pilgrimage


CHIMAYO, N.M. (KRQE) – Santa Fe County is issuing a warning to drivers as northern New Mexico highways will soon be lined with thousands of people making the annual Good Friday pilgrimage to El Santuario de Chimayo.

It’s about that time again, to walk up to El Santuario de Chimayo in northern New Mexico to honor their faith, healing, tradition and family.

“One of the first things we want to do is make sure people are well-planned and well-prepared. We’re expecting a lot more participation this year than we’ve had in years past,” said Jeff Folgate, fire protection specialist for the Santa Fe County Fire Department.

The Santa Fe County Fire Department advises people to have a game plan, know the route they are taking and never walk alone. “You want to make sure you’re communicating with your family and your friends or somebody who knows the route you’re taking or the route you’re taking,” the county fire department said.

There will be medical units along the route and increased patrols with 29 agencies. About 300,000 people usually make the pilgrimage, but the county says the number could be higher. “If you’re walking in the evening or at dusk or when it’s dark, be sure to wear bright-colored clothing, not dark clothing. Wear something bright so you can be seen,” Folgate said.

The New Mexico Department of Transportation has installed orange barrels and signage along Highways 76 and 503 to alert drivers. Those heading north can expect plenty of walking along the road on Thursdays, Fridays and weekends.

“Your normal traffic patterns may change. Give yourself more travel time and expect significant delays in the area. Eyes up. Eyes on the road,” added Folgate.

Santa Fe County says it has a new one Blue bus route which will run from 10 am to 5 pm on March 29 from Española to Chimayo.


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