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Concerts, fireworks, a BBQ championship and a wine festival are just a few ways to spend the holiday

ven16_ja_03jul_sparklerJuly is here and it’s time to celebrate the nation’s independence. Here are a few places where you can catch a fun holiday event or a fireworks show:

Alamogordo

The City of Alamogordo’s annual July 4th Fireworks Extravaganza, a community tradition for 37 years, is scheduled for Saturday, July 4.

Coordinated by the New Mexico Museum of Space History, the show is one of the largest in the state.

“The Fireworks Extravaganza is a tribute to our community and the pride that we have in our country,” said New Mexico Museum of Space History Executive Director Chris Orwoll.

The theme for this year’s show is Apollo 13. Museum staff have been working closely with choreographers from PyroShows of Texas, the company producing the event, to create a unique mix of music and sounds to complement the fireworks.

Tailgating in the museum’s parking lots is allowed and begins at 6 p.m., although charcoal grills and personal fireworks are banned for fire safety reasons. Sparklers are allowed.

A live band kicks off the festivities at 7 p.m. Gasoline Alley will be playing a mix of classic rock and country.

The fireworks will begin around 9:15 p.m.; all events are weather permitting with a back-up date of Sunday, July 5.

Up-and-coming country singer Brett Young will perform at Albuquerque’s Freedom Fourth.

Up-and-coming country singer Brett Young will perform at Albuquerque’s Freedom Fourth.

Albuquerque

The Duke City once again has its Freedom Fourth on Saturday, July 4, at Balloon Fiesta Park.

The fireworks show is one of the biggest in the state and it’s free to the public and is a rain-or-shine event.

This year’s Freedom Fourth will feature music, which is headlined by country duo Thompson Square at 8 p.m.

The music begins at 4 p.m. with Merican Slang. At 5:15 p.m., Rock Candy takes the stage and then up-and-coming country singer Brett Young takes the stage at 6:30 p.m.

The Air Force Band of the Southwest also will perform on the Patriotic Stage at the park from 6-8 p.m.

There will be food and drink available for purchase, as well as kids’ activities and a car show.

City officials are urging event-goers to take the Park and Ride service from the Westside and Northeast Heights.

“Driving in and out of Balloon Fiesta Park in your own car and paying $10 for parking can be a hassle,” said Bruce Rizzieri, director of ABQ RIDE. “Let ABQ RIDE give you a quicker, more inexpensive alternative.”

The Albuquerque Isotopes aren’t playing a Fourth of July game as in previous years, but they are having a fireworks show at their game against the Reno Aces tonight. The gates open at 5:30 and entertainment will be provided by the Albuquerque Youth Symphony program. For tickets visit milb.com.

Al Hurricane and Al Hurricane Jr. are performing at Fourth of July events in Socorro and Las Vegas, N.M.

Al Hurricane and Al Hurricane Jr. are performing at Fourth of July events in Socorro and Las Vegas, N.M.

Las Vegas

The city of Las Vegas, N.M., will host many of its Fourth of July events on the Historic Plaza and many of the events are free.

There will be a children’s fishing derby beginning at 7 a.m. today and the fiestas opening ceremony will take place at 9:30 a.m.

The night will be headlined by Grammy Award winners Texmaniacs with Rick Trevino and Flaco Jimenez from 6-8 p.m. tonight. The show will be followed by a plaza dance featuring Agua Negra & Los Tropicales.

At 9 a.m. Saturday, July 4 a parade will be held through the Historic Plaza Park.

Micky Cruz will perform at 11:30 a.m. At dusk the fireworks will take place at the New Mexico Highlands University Golf Course. They will be followed by a plaza dance featuring Maldito Baby & Quemoso.

On Sunday, July 5, there will be performances from Sorela, Al Hurricane and Al Hurricane Jr., as well as Gonzalo.

Rio Rancho

The 12th Annual Pork & Brew State BBQ Championship will be held both inside and outside of the Santa Ana Star Center from 4-11 today; 11 a.m.-8 p.m. Saturday, July 4, and 11 a.m.-5 p.m. Sunday, July 5.

The event will include local, regional and national participants competing and selling food items. In addition to world-class barbecue, the event will feature arts-and-crafts vendors, popular beers including local micro-brews, live music and pig races and a petting zoo courtesy of the Galloping Grace Youth Ranch.

It is $6 general admission, free for ages 3 and under; $4 for ages 4-12 and those over 65 years.

On July 4, an Independence Day parade will kick off at 10 a.m. and head east from Country Club Drive down Southern Boulevard and end on Pinetree Road near the Esther Bone Memorial Library and the Rio Rancho Veterans Monument Park.

As part of the parade, children and their parents are encouraged to participate by riding decorated bicycles. Bike registration will begin at 9 a.m. on the day of the parade in the Bank of America parking lot, 3101 Southern Blvd.

Prizes in three different age groups – 5 to 7, 8 to 10, and 11 to 15 – will be awarded to the bike that is decorated the best, most patriotic and most original. Bikes will join the last entry in the parade as it travels down Southern Boulevard. Helmets must be worn by all children riding a bike.

7th Annual Corbin Hayes Flag Football Tournament, will take place starting at 9 a.m. on Saturday, July 4, at the Rio Rancho High School Football Stadium, 301 Loma Colorado Blvd.

Loma Colorado Park and the Rio Rancho High School football stadium will both serve as great locations for fireworks viewing. There will be live music starting at 6 p.m. at both locations and the fireworks show will begin at approximately 9:15 p.m.

There is no admission fee to attend the show. Spectators are encouraged to bring chairs, blankets and picnic baskets. Parking will be available at the high school and surrounding parking lots for a $5 fee, which benefits the Rio Rancho and Cleveland high school athletic booster clubs.

Santa Fe

Pancakes on the Plaza has been around for 40 years in The City Different. This year’s event begins at 7 a.m. and runs until noon on Saturday, July 4. Tickets are $7 in advance and $8 on the day of the event. For more information, visit pancakesontheplaza.com.

Once you’ve had your fix of pancakes, head on over to Ivan Head Stadium at Santa Fe High School. The fireworks begins at dusk and the event is free and open to the public.

Santa Fe Wine Festival will be held at El Rancho de las Golondrinas.

There will be New Mexico wines from 21 vintners. In addition there will be food, live music and artisans demonstrating traditional crafts.

Music will be provided by Santa Fe’s indie band Bus Tapes and Sweet Jones from New Orleans.

The festival is open both from noon-6 p.m. Saturday, July 4 and Sunday, July 5.

Tickets are $13 for adults 21 and over, $5 for teens 13-20 and free for children 12 and under. They can be purchased at golondrinas.org.

Socorro

New this year is a parade to open the day, starting at 10 a.m. Saturday, July 4, at the Historic Plaza and ending at the music venue, Macey Center.

New Mexico Tech and the city of Socorro have just the ticket: A 23rd annual Fourth of July celebration on the grassy grounds of the campus north of Macey Center that’s free to all – and so is parking.

There also are plenty of family options, such as the return of Clan Tynker with their magic show and juggling acts; water slides and balloon jump for the kiddies; traditional barbecue; and a lineup of first-rate entertainment, all back by popular demand.

Headlining the music portion will be Al Hurricane and Al Hurricane Jr.

This year’s lineup includes some new names and some crowd favorites. Revelation is a local rock band of middle school musicians. Also performing will be the The Tanya Griego Band as well as The DCN Project. For the first time, the Socorro band Suavecito will close the show.

Returning acts include the Socorro Community Band, Clan Tynker, Doug Figgs and the Cowboy Way and the Et Alia Belly Dancers. At dusk, around 9:30 p.m., the pyrotechnical experts at New Mexico Tech’s Energetic Materials Research and Testing Center will put on their own aerial show.

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