Freedom 4th Celebration is back in ABQ after absence - Albuquerque Journal

Freedom 4th Celebration is back in ABQ after absence

Fireworks light up the sky at the Freedom 4th Independence Day Celebration at Balloon Fiesta Park, photographed in 2019, the last year before the pandemic hiatus. (Adolphe Pierre-Louis/Albuquerque Journal)

Copyright © 2022 Albuquerque Journal

Thanks to generous amounts of recent rainfall, the grass is lush and green at Balloon Fiesta Park, just in time for the return of the city’s Freedom 4th Independence Day Celebration next week after a two-year pandemic absence.

During a Monday news conference at the park, city officials said the gates will open for the free celebration at 3:30 p.m. Headlining the concert series will be country music band Shenandoah. Also featured will be local country artist Nathan Krantz, the reggae soul sounds of Mondo Vibrations and New Mexico Spanish and variety artists Str8 Shot.

Among the activities for kids will be face-painting, an inflatable bounce house and a rock climbing wall, said Shelle Sanchez, director of the city’s Arts and Culture Department. Food trucks and other vendors will offer a variety of fare, and adult visitors can enjoy a beer garden featuring New Mexico brews, she said.

As always, a colorful fireworks display will cap the evening, weather permitting.

Visitors are asked not to bring glass bottles or to carry in alcohol.

Although the event is free, vehicle parking will cost $10, which can be paid in advance at premiumparking.com/P4702. Only cash will be accepted on-site for parking.

Attendees can also use free Park-and-Ride service to the park from Coronado and Cottonwood shopping centers and the return trip. Free bike valet service will be offered for those who choose to pedal to the event, Sanchez said.

Visitors to the park will find two parking areas – the lot above the east launch field, and the east lot at field level – have been newly striped, increasing parking capacity by 30%, said Dave Simon, director of the city’s Parks and Recreation Department.

Simon also announced at the news conference that, just in time for the holiday weekend, the city has reopened all of the East Mountain open space areas that had been closed due to enhanced fire danger. In addition, the last of the city’s 12 public pools, the Montgomery Pool, at 5301 Palo Duro NE, has reopened after the completion of a $637,000 improvement project.

Fire marshal Kris Romero of Albuquerque Fire Rescue, reminded people that despite the recent wet weather, Albuquerque is still enforcing Stage 2 fire restrictions in the bosque, foothills and open space areas, meaning no open flames or campfires, no smoking, no fireworks and no motor vehicles operated off public roadways.

Further, fireworks that are marked “warning,” are illegal in the city and county, Romero said, while those marked with “caution” are legal. Legal fireworks do not shoot higher than six feet in the air or travel outside a six-foot radius.

Anyone who wishes to report the use of illegal fireworks should pass that information through the 311 community contact line, rather than the 911 emergency line. The 311 line will be staffed from 6 a.m. to midnight July 1 and 2; from 9 a.m. to midnight July 3; and 3 p.m. to midnight July 4.

Reports can also be submitted online at cabq.gov/fireworks, or via the ABQ 311 app. Online and app submissions can be made anytime.

For text alerts on weather delays and Freedom 4th event updates text FREEDOM4 to 78015.

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