Fourth of July Freebies and Deals for 2009

Fireworks photo by A Million to One; Creative Commons license

There’s an old saying: Freedom isn’t free. And that surely is true enough. Lucky for you, however, Independence Day celebrations are free (or, at least, cheap), and we’ve got a roundup of many places you can enjoy events and fireworks for mere pennies!


  • Freedom 4th; gates open at 3:00pm; $2 adults, kids under 12 free; Balloon Fiesta Park. Enjoy live musical entertainment by South by Southwest, Savor, and The Blues Brothers Review. Plus, food vendors, a beer garden, and children’s activities on the green will keep you fed, watered, and entertained. The highlight of the evening is the fireworks display, natch, which kicks off at dark and ends around 10:00pm. Parking is free, but your best bet is to use the FREE park-n-ride, which starts service at 4:00pm. The westside pickup location is St. Pius High School. On the east side, jump aboard at Coronado Center (northwest corner). There are quite a few “thou shalt nots” involved with this event, so be sure to read the fine print at the bottom of the city’s informational webpage.
  • Netherwood Bike Parade; 9:00am; Netherwood Park; free. Decorate your two-wheeler and cycle on over to Netherwood Park for the neighborhood association’s annual bike parade. Food, games, piƱatas — what more could you ask for?

Los Lunas

  • Parade; 9:00am; beginning at the Valencia “Y” across from Smith’s; free. You can’t beat the pageantry of an old-fashioned, small(er) town Independence Day parade. Expect plenty of floats, marching bands, horses, firetrucks, and more! The parade will travel west along Highway 6 to City Hall.
  • Fireworks; gates open 4:00pm; Daniel Fernandez Park; free. Live musical entertainment with Eddie Benavidez e Los Jesters, Vanessa Aragon, Roberto Griego y Su Banda. Plus a men’s softball home run derby and all-star game, beginning at 5:00pm. And, we’re thinkin’, plenty of activities for kids!


  • Star Spangled Cowboy 4th of July Celebration; all day, beginning at 8:00am; town of Moriarty; some stuff free, probably some stuff with admission fees. Expect lots of horses and authentic cowboys in this Indpendence Day do, which includes a parade, rodeo, and dance. We don’t have more details than that, but then Moriarty isn’t a big place, so we’re sure you can mosey over there and find everything all right.

Rio Rancho

  • Bike Decorating Contest; register beginning at 9:00am July 4th; Albertson’s parking lot on Southern Blvd; free. Kids ages 2-12 and their parents are invited to contribute to the 4th of July parade pageantry by decorating bikes and bringing up the rear of the parade (see below)! Prizes will be awarded to one bike in each of three age categories that is best decorated, most patriotic, and most original. So, go hunt up some bunting and streamers!
  • Parade; 10:00am; begins at Country Club and Southern; free. Enjoy the pageantry of classic cars, military organizations, marching bands (presumably), and a bike contest by grabbing a great spot along Southern Blvd. as the parade heads eastward toward the Veterans Monument Park, where a ceremony will conclude the parade.
  • Fireworks Extravaganza; gates open at 4:00pm; Loma Colorado Park; free (parking $5 per car). Enjoy live music from The Brahma Band, The Hit Squad, and The StingRays, plus kids’ activities, food vendors (shaved ice, anyone?) and more!

Santa Fe

  • Fireworks; gates open 4:00pm; Santa Fe High School; free ($5 per car for parking). This event is a fundraiser for the Boys & Girls Club of Santa Fe.

Elsewhere around New Mexico

And if you’re planning to travel around the state this holiday weekend, check out these other free or cheap 4th of July events:

We’re sure there are more than this, but it’s what we could scare up and stuff into this post! If you know of something cool going on for Independence Day 2009, be sure to add it in the comments thread!

–Elizabeth Hanes


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