Holiday Twinkle Light Parade

December 4, 2014 by  
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You’d have to be walking around with your eyes shut not to know about this already. But hey, we’re all busy people. Maybe you forgot about it. Or maybe you just flew into the Duke City and never knew about it in the first place.  This family-friendly event is a holiday favorite and a must-see for all.

This year the Twinkle Light Parade takes place on Saturday December 6, 2014 at 5:15 p.m.

Expect to see floats, lowriders, AFD fire trucks and classic cars, equestrian clubs – even a small train – all dressed up for the holidays. The City of Albuquerque reckons there will be more than 1,000 walkers, plus all the usual high school marching bands I love watching. The bands are always festive and smart, and the kids are so very brave as they march through the cold.  Santa Claus and Mrs Claus usually roll by in the Twinkle Light Parade too. (Santa, of course, is used to the cold.)

The Twinkle Light Parade starts glitzing with more than 300,000 twinkling lights at 5:15 pm on December 6, traveling west along Central Avenue from Washington Street to Girard Boulevard.  Bleachers will make it easier for everyone to watch the parade. The City of Albuquerque reckons that there are more than 90 floats (cars, horses, bicycles, anything they can gussy up with sparkly lights) in the parade this year.

I do so love this festive event, but dress warmly – I’ve nearly frozen my tootsies off watching the parade in previous years.  At time of writing, it’s looking a bit rainy out there, but the Twinkle Light Parade will sparkle on no matter what – it’s a rain or shine event.

–Tania


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Albuquerque and New Mexico Fourth of July Free Events 2014

July 2, 2014 by  
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New Mexico Fourth of JulyTime to celebrate our freedom with these Independence Day events in and around Albuquerque. Plus some New Mexico Fourth of July events if you feel like going on a trip…

The big 2014 Freedom Fourth party at Balloon Fiesta Park is indeed FREE! (Although there is a parking fee – check out the details below).

Other New Mexico Fourth of July freebie celebrations are in Rio Rancho, Corrales, Madrid, and further afield around the state.  So let’s (erm) go forth: Bring on the fireworks, flags, and fun!

 

Freedom Fourth – Albuquerque – Friday July 4, 2014

  • Gates open at 3 pm with free admission for all! Freedom Fourth is held at Balloon Fiesta Park, and live entertainment includes five-time Grammy winner, country music star Wynonna Judd at 8 pm. Leading up to that headline act,  you can hear OnQ Chorus (4 pm), Sim Balkey & the Honky Tonk Crew (4:45 pm), Joanie and Combo Special (5:45 pm) and Rudy Boy Experiment (6:45 pm). At 7:45 pm, Manzano Day School will perform the national anthem.
  • Other Freedom Fourth fun includes a car show, kids’ activities, and a cultural stage with entertainment ranging from Irish music and Polynesian dancing to Flamenco.  A microbrew beer garden and food vendors will keep everyone refreshed. Of course, this all culminates in the fireworks display after dark.
  • Parking is $10…  You could save cash (and possibility your sanity) by taking the Park & Ride for $1 round trip; 35c for seniors aged 62+ and children. Kids aged 9 and under ride free.  Take exact change and bus passes aren’t accepted for Park & Ride. Westside pick up is St. Pius High School, eastside is  Coronado Center at the northwest corner on San Pedro, starting at 3 pm until 8 pm to go to the event.
  • There are quite a few “thou shalt nots” at Freedom Fourth – such as don’t take alcohol (although alcohol is available to purchase), so check the City of Albuquerque Freedom Fourth page for the event schedule and info on what you can and can’t take.

Rio Rancho Holiday Parade and Fireworks – Friday July 4

  • Bike Decorating Contest registration starts at 9 am – open to kids and adults with prizes for the kids contest only (natch!) for best decorated, most patriotic, and most original bikes! Register free at the Bank of America parking lot, 3101 Southern Blvd, then join the parade (children must wear a helmet).
  • The Rio Rancho Holiday Parade starts at 10 am, heading east from Country Club Drive down Southern Boulevard, and concluding on Pinetree Road near the Esther Bone Memorial Library and the Rio Rancho Veterans Monument Park.
  • A Declaration of Independence ceremony follows at the Veterans Monument Park, starting at around 11 am.
  • Free fireworks at the Rio Rancho High School football stadium start at around 9 pm – but the stadium opens at 6 pm.

Madrid Fourth of July Parade on the Turquoise Trail starts at noon on July 4, and if you want to watch a baseball game first, get to the Oscar Huber Memorial Ballpark for 10 am.

Corrales Fourth of July Parade and Fun Day starts with the parade at 10 am (from Target Road) and ends at La Entrada Park for the family fun day.

Other New Mexico Fourth of July Events:

If you’re planning to travel around the state, check out these other mostly free New Mexico Fourth of July celebrations.  See each link for more details. (Please bear in mind that depending on weather and fire conditions, firework events may be subject to change. Call ahead before setting off on a long road trip.)

  • Alomogordo The Made in America Fourth of July Parade starts at 10 am, with Freedom Faith fireworks in the evening.
  • Cloudcroft Parade at 2 pm on July 4, followed by various community events.
  • Clovis Smoke on the Water fireworks display follows music concerts in the afternoon
  • Farmington Freedom Days with various events and entertainment run from July 3 – 6. Highlights for July 4 are the Electric Light Parade at 9 pm, and day events including Party in the Park entertainment, a pizza-eating contest, water balloon fight, live music, and a skateboarding competition.
  • Las Cruces Electric Light Parade on July 3 at 9 pm. On July 4, entertainment includes music by Don McLean (American Pie!) and a Beatles tribute band, followed by fireworks.
  • Red River 4th of July Parade at 10 am, followed by live music in Brandenburg Park, with activities for kids and the annual Egg Toss & family games.
  • Santa Fe The Fourth of July fireworks return to Santa Fe High School this year. The event starts at 5 pm with musical entertainment, and they request a $5 parking donation.  The Santa Fe Pancakes on the Plaza fundraiser event ($8, or $7 for advance tickets) takes place as usual in the Plaza from 7 am to noon, with activities and entertainment and, yes, pancakes.
  • Silver City Parade on July 4, followed by an Ice Cream Social, free games for kids, a cakewalk, and live music concerts.
  • Socorro Free Fourth of July festival and entertainment including Al Hurricane & Al Hurricane Jr., El Gringo, and Clan Tynker, all followed by fireworks.
  • Arroyo Seco and Taos The Fourth of July Parade in Arroyo Seco starts at around noon but arrive in good time, you may have to park a little away from the village.  The evening fireworks in Taos start at around 9 pm.
  • Taos Ski Valley Fourth of July Parade starts at 2 pm, the annual Rubber Duck Race is at 3 pm, and the Taos Mountain Summer Music Series from 3 pm to 6 pm offers music from Brent Berry y Tambien, plus volleyball & kiddie play area.

Plenty of places to celebrate a very New Mexico Fourth of July…. completely free or on the cheap! Happy Independence Day!

–Tania

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Albuquerque and New Mexico Fourth of July Free Events 2013

July 1, 2013 by  
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New Mexico Fourth of JulyTime to celebrate our freedom with these Independence Day events in and around Albuquerque. Plus some New Mexico Fourth of July events if you feel like going on a trip…

The big 2013 Freedom Fourth party at Balloon Fiesta Park is indeed FREE! (Although there is a parking fee – check out the details below).

Other New Mexico Fourth of July freebie celebrations are in Rio Rancho, Corrales, Madrid, and further afield around the state.  So let’s (erm) go forth: Bring on the fireworks, flags, and fun!

 

Freedom Fourth – Albuquerque – Thursday July 4, 2013

  • Gates open at 3 pm with free admission for all! Freedom Fourth is held at Balloon Fiesta Park, and live entertainment includes the headline act country music star John Michael Montgomery at 8 pm. Leading up to that main stage event you can hear Summer XO (4 pm), Burnin’ Bridges Band (5:15 pm) and Bartender 4 Mayor (6:30 pm). At 7:50 pm, opera singer Ida Huber Mitchell will perform the national anthem.
  • Other Freedom Fourth fun includes a car show, kids’ activities, and a cultural stage with performers ranging from Japanese folk dancing, Irish dancers and Flamenco dance.  A microbrew beer garden and food vendors will keep everyone refreshed. Of course, this all culminates in the fireworks display after dark.
  • Parking is $10…  You could save cash (and possibility your sanity) by taking the Park & Ride for $1 round trip; 35c for seniors and children. Kids aged 9 and under ride free.  Take exact change and bus passes aren’t accepted for Park & Ride. Westside pick up is St. Pius High School, eastside is  Coronado Center at the northwest corner on San Pedro, starting at 3 pm until 8 pm to go to the event.
  • There are quite a few “thou shalt nots” at Freedom Fourth – such as don’t take alcohol (although alcohol is available to purchase), so check the City of Albuquerque Freedom Fourth page for the event schedule and info on what you can and can’t take.

Rio Rancho Holiday Parade and Fireworks – Thursday July 4

  • Bike Decorating Contest registration starts at 9 am – open to kids and adults with prizes for the kids contest only (natch!) for best decorated, most patriotic, and most original bikes! Register free at the Bank of America parking lot, 3101 Southern Blvd, then join the parade (children must wear a helmet).
  • The Rio Rancho Holiday Parade starts at 10 am, heading east from Country Club Drive down Southern Boulevard, and concluding on Pinetree Road near the Esther Bone Memorial Library and the Rio Rancho Veterans Monument Park.
  • A Declaration of Independence ceremony follows at the Veterans Monument Park, starting at around 11 am.
  • Free fireworks at the Rio Rancho High School football stadium start at around 9 pm – but the stadium opens at 6 pm and pre-firework entertainment includes a free outdoor movie.
  • See all the details on the Rio Rancho Fourth of July events.

Madrid Fourth of July Parade on the Turquoise Trail starts at noon on July 4, and if you want to watch a baseball game first, get to the Oscar Huber Memorial Ballpark for 10 am.

Corrales Fourth of July Parade and Fun Day starts with the parade at 10 am (from Target Road) and ends at La Entrada Park for the fun day till 2 pm. The water fight this year will be held at the Corrales Community Pool at the Rec Center. (It’s not happening during the parade – keep your water to yourself!) The water fight starts at noon at the pool with free admission, and continues till 3 pm. That’s some water fight!

Other New Mexico Fourth of July Events:

If you’re planning to travel around the state, check out these other mostly free New Mexico Fourth of July celebrations.  See each link for more details. (Please bear in mind that with the current awful fire season, all firework events may be subject to change. Call ahead before setting off on a long road trip.)

  • Alomogordo America the Beautiful Fourth of July Parade starts at 10 am, with Freedom Faith fireworks in the evening.
  • Cloudcroft Parade at 2 pm on July 4, and a street dance on July 6 at 7 pm.
  • Clovis Smoke on the Water fireworks display follows music concerts in the afternoon
  • Farmington Freedom Days run from July 2 – 7. Highlights for July 4 are the Electric Light Parade at 9 pm, and day events including Party in the Park entertainment, a pizza-eating contest, water balloon fight, ice cream social, and a skateboarding competition.
  • Las Cruces Electric Light Parade on July 3 at 9 pm, with a Street Fest and fireworks on July 4
  • Red River 4th of July Parade at 10 am, followed by live music in Brandenburg Park, with activities for kids and the annual Egg Toss & family games.
  • Santa Fe Fourth of July fireworks in Santa Fe will sparkle from a different venue this year: The Santa Fe Municipal Recreation Center (205 Caja Del Rio Road) instead of the usual Santa Fe High School. The event starts at 5 pm with musical entertainment, and they request a $5 parking donation.  The Santa Fe Pancakes on the Plaza fundraiser event ($7, or $6 for advance tickets) takes place as usual in the Plaza from 7 am to noon, with kids activities and, yes, pancakes.
  • Silver City Parade at 10 am on July 4, followed by an Ice Cream Social, free games for kids, a cakewalk, and live music concerts.
  • Socorro Free Fourth of July festival and entertainment including Al Hurricane & Al Hurricane Jr., El Gringo, and Clan Tynker, all followed by fireworks.
  • Arroyo Seco and Taos The Fourth of July Parade in Arroyo Seco starts at around noon but arrive in good time, you may have to park a little away from the village.  The evening fireworks in Taos may or may not take place in 2013; the Town of Taos will assess fire danger on the day itself and make the decision.
  • Taos Ski Valley Fourth of July Parade starts at 2 pm, the annual Rubber Duck Race is at 3 pm, and the Taos Mountain Summer Music Series from 3.30 pm to 6.30 pm offers music from Last to Know, the Revolving Door Circus, a bouncy castle for kids and free popcorn.

Plenty of places to celebrate a very New Mexico Fourth of July…. completely free or on the cheap! Happy Independence Day!

–Tania

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Fourth of July Free Events 2012

July 2, 2012 by  
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Time to celebrate our freedom with these Independence Day events in and around Albuquerque…

The big 2012 Freedom 4th party at Balloon Fiesta Park is indeed FREE! (Although there is a parking fee – check out the details below).

There are plenty of freebie celebrations too in Rio Rancho, Corrales, Madrid, and further afield around the state.

So let’s (erm) go forth: Bring on the fireworks, flags, and fun!

Freedom Fourth – Albuquerque – Wednesday July 4, 2012 

  • Gates open at 3 pm with free admission for all! Freedom 4th is held at Balloon Fiesta Park, and live entertainment includes country music band Diamond Rio, Rolling Thunder, The Noms,  and performers on the Warehouse 508 Youth Stage. Plus a car show, a balloon glow, jumpers, a climbing wall, free face painting, Mayor Berry’s Very Important Kids Zone, and food vendors. All culminating of course in the fireworks display after dark.
  • Parking is $10…  You could save cash (and possibility your sanity) by taking the Park & Ride for $1 round trip; 35c for seniors, students, and kids under age 9.  Take exact change and bus passes aren’t accepted for Park & Ride. Westside pick up is St. Pius High School, eastside is  Coronado Center at the northwest corner, starting at 3 pm until 8 pm to go to the event.
  • There are quite a few “thou shalt nots” at Freedom Fourth – such as don’t take alcohol (although alcohol is available to purchase), so check the City of Albuquerque Freedom 4th page for the event schedule and info on what you can and can’t take.

Rio Rancho Holiday Parade and Fireworks – Wednesday July 4

  • Bike Decorating Contest registration starts at 9 am – open to kids and adults with prizes for the kids contest only (natch!) for best decorated and patriotic bikes! Register free at Joe’s Pasta House parking lot, 3201 Southern Blvd, then join the parade (children must wear a helmet).
  • Holiday parade starts at 10 am, heading east from Country Club Drive down Southern Boulevard.  and ending on Pinetree Road near the Esther Bone Memorial Library and the Rio Rancho Veterans Monument Park.
  • A ceremony follows at the Veterans Monument Park, starting at around 11 am.
  • Free fireworks at the Rio Rancho High School football stadium start at around 9 pm – but the stadium opens at 6 pm and pre-firework entertainment includes music and a free movie.
  • See all the details on the Rio Rancho Fourth of July events.

Madrid Fourth of July Parade starts at noon on July 4, and if you want to watch a baseball game first, get to the Oscar Huber Memorial Ballpark for 10 am.

Corrales Fourth of July Parade and Fun Day starts with the parade at 10 am (from Target Road) and ends at La Entrada Park for the fun day till 1:30 pm.

Other New Mexico Independence Day Weekend Events:

If you’re planning to travel around the state, check out these other mostly free (or cheap) 4th July celebrations over the weekend.  See each link for day, times, and details:

  • Cloudcroft Parade at 2 pm with prizes for ‘walking’ ‘wheels’ and ‘animals’, open to all participants.
  • Eagle Nest Parade at 2 pm and Fireworks
  • Farmington Freedom Days Electric Light Parade at 9 pm, and day events including Party in the Park entertainment, arts show, pizza-eating contest, and skateboarding competition
  • Las Cruces Electric Light Parade on July 3 at 9 pm, with a Street Fest and fireworks on July 4
  • Red River 4th of July Parade at 10 am, followed by games and entertainment
  • Silver City Parade at 10 am, followed by an Ice Cream Social, free games for kids, a cakewalk, and live music concerts.
  • Socorro Free Fourth of July entertainment including Dr. Buck’s Wild West Show, Squash Blossom Boys, and Al Hurricane & Al Hurricane Jr.concerts, and fireworks
  • Taos Parade in Arroyo Seco at around noon but arrive earlier, Fireworks in Taos
  • Taos Ski Valley Parade at 2 pm, Rubber Duck Race at 3 pm.

Plenty of places to celebrate…. on the CHEAP! Happy Independence Day!

–Tania

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Pet Parade: April 30

April 29, 2011 by  
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Bookworks Pet ParadeThe Rio Grande Shops at the Flying Star Plaza on Rio Grande Boulevard host a costumed Pet Parade and other poochy events on April 30, 2011.

This looks fun if you enjoy dressing up your pet, or if you don’t have a pet but want one, or for anyone who wants to watch the pet parade, join in family fun activities, and support a good cause.

A reminder that the pet parade is at 1 pm on Saturday April 30, and you can enter your own pet with a $5 fee that benefits Animal Humane New Mexico (arrive by 12:15).
Or just turn up to watch the parade.

Contestants can win prizes for funniest costume, best fashion statement, and best owner/dog costume.

Other Pet Parade & Mobile Adoption highlights include:

  • Find a pet for yourself with Animal Humane’s Mobile Adoption unit from 10 am to 3 pm
  • Kids can take their pet to Bookworks children’s story time at 11 am
  • Dance of the Eggshells Easter storytime with Carla Aragon at noon
  • Giggles the Clown animal balloons and face painting from 12:30 to 3:30 pm
  • Live music from 1:30 to 2:45
  • Door prizes (announced at 2 pm)
  • Shop at the Rio Grande Shops between noon and 4 pm, and they’ll donate 10% of sales to Animal Humane New Mexico.

See the full Pet Parade and Mobile Adoption schedule, and remember that on April 30 and every day through April if you buy a Flying Star cookie with the Animal Humane logo, their Buy A Cookie, Save A Pet benefit gives $1 to Animal Humane New Mexico. 

The Rio Grande Shops at the Flying Star Plaza are, of course, Flying Star Cafe, Bookworks, Willow,
Pfeifer Studio, Lilly Barrack, and Pennysmiths Paper.

Head for 4022 Rio Grande Boulevard NW. They say there will be extra off-site parking available for the pet parade.

–Tania

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NHCC Torreon Fresco & Free Anniversary Event: Oct 10

October 8, 2010 by  
Filed under Arts, Attractions

National Hispanic Cultural Center Torreon Fresco photo by Albuquerque Convention & Visitors BureauThe National Hispanic Cultural Center celebrates its 10th anniversary on Sunday October 10, with a community parade, free behind-the-scenes tours at the NHCC, live entertainment, and the public unveiling of the fresco by Frederico Vigil inside the Torreón.

I’m super-excited about this as I’ve been following the progress of the huge NHCC Torreón fresco for so long.  And so has Frederico Vigil!

It took Vigil nearly 10 years to complete the 4,000 square foot work , and you can bet your life I’m going to be there on Sunday to watch the parade and get a first glimpse of the fresco.

The free National Hispanic Cultural Center 10th Anniversary celebration includes:

  • Parade starting at noon from Downtown to the NHCC, beginning at 4th and Central through Barelas on 4th Street
  • Unveiling of the Torreón fresco by Frederico Vigil depicting over 3,000 years of Hispanic history
  • Behind-the-scenes tours of the NHCC art museum (always free on Sundays), the performing arts center, library and archives and new education center
  • Live entertainment, dance classes, and a cake walk – plus community cake cutting
  • Screening of the Disney movies Mustang and The Wonderful Ice Cream Suit

The event takes place:

  • When: Sunday October 10, 2010
  • Time: Noon – 5 pm
  • Admission: FREE!

If you can’t make it this weekend, it’s FREE to visit the National Hispanic Cultural Center Torreón fresco every Sunday from noon – 4 pm to the end of 2010. (The hours for 2011 are yet to be confirmed.)

The National Hispanic Cultural Center is located at 1701 4th Street SW, Albuquerque.

–Tania

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Fourth of July Free Events 2010

July 1, 2010 by  
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Time to celebrate our freedom with these Independence Day events in and around Albuquerque…

This year, the big Freedom 4th party at Balloon Fiesta Park is indeed FREE! (Although there is a parking fee – check out the details below).

There are plenty of freebie celebrations too in Rio Rancho, Madrid, Acoma, and further afield around the state.

So let’s (erm) go forth: Bring on the fireworks, flags, and fun!

Freedom Fourth – Albuquerque – Sunday July 4, 2010

  • Gates open at 3 pm for a 4 pm start, free admission for all! Freedom 4th is held at Balloon Fiesta Park, and live entertainment includes Vanessa Aragon, The System, Marsh, and Honor Society. Plus food vendors, free jumpers, face painting, a climbing wall, and 4th grade poster competition on display in Mayor Berry’s Very Important Kids Zone. All culminating of course in the fireworks display after dark.
  • Parking is $10…  depending how many of you are in your group, you could save cash (and possibility your sanity) by taking the Park & Ride for $1 round trip; 35c for ages 62 and up; free for kids aged 10 and under.  You need exact change and bus passes aren’t accepted for Park & Ride. West side pick up is St. Pius High School, east side is  Coronado Center.
  • There are quite a few “thou shalt nots” at this event – you can’t take pets (you know they don’t like fireworks) nor alcohol (although alcohol is available to purchase), so check the City of Albuquerque Freedom 4th page for all event details and a list of what you can and can’t take.

Rio Rancho Holiday Parade and Fireworks – Saturday July 3 2010

  • Bike Decorating Contest registration starts at 9 am – open to kids and adults with prizes for the kids contest only (natch!) for best decorated and patriotic bikes! Register free at Joe’s Pasta House parking lot, 3201 Southern Blvd, then join the parade (children must wear a helmet).
  • Holiday parade starts at 10 am, heading east from Country Club Drive down Southern Boulevard.  and ending on Pinetree Road near the Esther Bone Memorial Library and the Rio Rancho Veterans Monument Park.
  • A ceremony follows at the Veterans Monument Park, starting at around 11 am.
  • Free fireworks at the Rio Rancho High School football stadium on Saturday July 3 start at 9:30 pm – but you can hear live music from 8 pm. Parking at the High School is $5 per vehicle (proceeds to the Rio Rancho High School Booster Club).
  • See all the details on the Rio Rancho Holiday weekend events.

Madrid Fourth of July parade starts at noon on Sunday July 4, from the Back Road to the Ballpark.  Stay on for the First Annual Bluegrass Festival after the parade at the Old Coal Mine Museum ($10 admission for adults, free for kids under 12, and admission includes entry to the Museum.)

Other New Mexico Independence Day Weekend Events:

If you’re planning to travel around the state, check out these other mostly free (or cheap) 4th July celebrations over the weekend.  See each link for day, times, and details:

  • Acoma Pueblo Sky City Free Sky Works outdoor concert and fireworks starting at 6 pm on July 4 with music from the James Douglas Show and The JIR Project, followed by fireworks at 8pm, at Acoma Pueblo’s Sky City, about an hour’s drive west of Albuquerque.
  • Cloudcroft Games, Street Dance and Parade
  • Eagle Nest Parade and Fireworks
  • Elephant Butte 4th of July Fireworks Display (park fees waived from 6–9 pm)
  • Farmington Freedom Days Parade and Fireworks
  • Las Cruces Electric Light Parade, Street Fest, Free Concerts (Unauthorized Journey on Sat 3, and Clay Walker on Sun 4) and Fireworks
  • Moriarty Star Spangled 4th of July-Parade and entertainment
  • Red River 4th of July Parade, Games and Cookout
  • Santa Fe Fireworks display ($1 admission).
  • Santa Rosa 4th of July Celebration and Fireworks
  • Silver City Cowboy Breakfast, Ice Cream Social, Antique Tractor Show, Parade and Fireworks
  • Socorro Free Fourth of July concerts and fireworks
  • Taos Parade in Arroyo Seco, Fireworks in Taos
  • Taos Ski Valley Parade, Games, and Rubber Duck Race

Plenty of places to celebrate…. on the CHEAP! Happy Independence Day!

–Tania

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Fourth of July Freebies and Deals for 2009

July 1, 2009 by  
Filed under Events, Freebies, Half Off Deals, Holiday Events, Kids, Music, Parades

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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!

Albuquerque

  • 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, piñatas — 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!

Moriarty

  • 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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I WISH YOU A GOOD LIFE.