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Fireworks from afar: Socially distanced displays will light New Mexico skies on the Fourth






Social distancing will be the key to this year’s Fourth of July celebrations. Cities have figured out various ways to mark the holiday. Here’s a rundown of what is happening:

Albuquerque and Bernalillo County are teaming up to stage fireworks displays in each quadrant of the area – a move that will give people a chance to watch from home wherever they live and avoid congregating in mass gatherings in any one specific area.

The displays will be set to music that will be broadcast on KKOB’s AM and FM radio stations.

The pyrotechnics will launch from Ladera Golf Course on the West Side, North Domingo Baca Park in the northeast, Manzano Mesa Park in the area of Interstate 40 and Eubank, and Tom Tenorio Park in the southwest.

The parks will close to the public several hours before the planned launch time of 9:20 p.m. – Mother Nature permitting.

City officials are strongly discouraging residents from gathering near the launch sites.

Rio Rancho will have a fireworks display at its City Center, with people watching from their cars. Parking will be limited.

Vehicles will be parked with two empty spaces separating vehicles, and people will have to watch the fireworks from inside their vehicles, on top of their vehicles or immediately in front of or behind their vehicles.

The City Center area will be able to accommodate about 1,000 vehicles, and once the parking spaces are full, vehicles will be turned away.

Vehicles won’t be allowed to park at the adjacent University of New Mexico Sandoval Regional Medical Center.

There will be no portable toilets, although bathroom facilities will be open inside the Star Center. The building, however, will otherwise be closed, and there will be no vendor sales of food or water in the building or anywhere in the City Center area.

The event is free, and visitors may begin parking at 7 p.m., with the fireworks display to start at 9 p.m.

There will be a Quarantine Drive-In at Santa Fe Place Mall at 7 p.m. Saturday, July 4. The movie “Abominable” starts at 8:45 p.m. Tickets are $20-$30 per carload at

Organizers say all social distancing protocols will be followed and there will be food vendors on site via car hop.

New Mexico Tech is leading the way with a Fourth of July virtual concert and fireworks display.

Beginning at noon Saturday, July 4, six bands will perform a virtual concert on New Mexico Tech’s Facebook and YouTube pages.

At dusk, a fireworks display will be shot from “M” Mountain, which is visible from all points in Socorro.

Organizers ask viewers to stay home and watch. The New Mexico Tech campus and golf course are also closed to the public. More information can be found at 575-835-5688.


All illustrations by Cathryn Cunningham of the Journal

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