The Perfect Fourth of July in New Mexico!

Communities around New Mexico are showing off their all-American colors with activi-ties, events, and festivities to celebrate America’s independence. Commemorate this great nation at any one of these celebrations and you’ll be treated to a spirited, star spangled display of patriotism. Wave a flag, sing our national anthem and honor this sweet land of liberty for the perfect Fourth of July in the Land of Enchantment! 

1. Freedom 4th, Albuquerque, NM

Ballon Fiesta Park, in the shadow of Sandia Peak, is host to this year’s free Independence Day celebration from 3 to 10 p.m. It’s a full day of entertainment. The presentation of colors is by the Eldorado High School JROTC and the national anthem will be sung by local songstress Cat Powdrell. Country star Clint Black is headlining. The Microbrew Garden features 20 local establishments and 30 local food vendors will have everything from stuffed sopapillas to barbecue to funnel cakes to shaved ice. Fireworks blast off at 9:15 p.m.

2. July 4th Parade & Celebration, Red River, NM

Get ready for some nostalgia at this old-fashioned celebration complete with parade, a picnic, live music in Brandenburg Park and a finale of fireworks. The parade, billed as the largest in northern New Mexico, begins promptly at 10 a.m. and is made up of deco-rated floats, equestrian units, car clubs and vintage jeeps. The annual July 4 Egg Toss and family-friendly games take place on the lawn of the Red River Community House. The day’s activities run from 10 a.m. to 11:30 p.m.

3. Star Spangled Celebration, Mescalero, NM

If you like fireworks then this is the place to be. The spectacular pyrotechnic show, which lights up the night sky and beautiful Lake Mescalero, is the biggest and longest in New Mexico. This free celebration begins at 3 p.m. with live musical performances that don’t end until midnight. Concession stands and jumping balloon houses are geared for family fun. There’s an outdoor barbecue with summer favorites and of course hot dogs and hamburgers! Wristbands for concessions are $10. 

4. Taos Ski Valley 4th of July Celebration, Taos, NM

The day’s festivities begin with an annual parade down the block-long commercial area of the nearby town of Arroyo Seco at noon, sharp. It’s a quirky assortment of locals that include politicians, kids, clowns, farmers, firemen on their trucks, horseback riders, floats and whatever other local free spirits join in. From there, head on over to the Bavarian Lodge and Restaurant at Taos Ski Valley for an afternoon of entertainment with the band Out of Nowhere, as well as dance tunes of swing, blues, rock and soul. There’s a KidZone play area and a Chair Lift Parade for those who want to enter. Don’t miss the Rubber Duck Races sponsored by the Field Institute of Taos, a nonprofit that provides outdoor educational programs for young people. 

5. Pancakes on the Plaza, Santa Fe, NM

This event, now in its 42nd year, takes place in the city’s historic plaza and continues to be a labor of love for the Rotary Clubs of Santa Fe which donate the proceeds to local nonprofits. Of course, there are hot-off-the-griddle pancakes to be eaten, as well as cool cars to admire, a unique art show to wander through, kid’s games to play, an arts and craft show to shop at and live music that gets your feet moving. Wander through town, drop into local businesses, hang out with family and friends and end the day looking up at the unforgettable fireworks show. Tickets are $8 in advance, $10 the day of. 

6. Freedom Days, Farmington, NM

The Fourth of July celebration in the Four Corners region is a multiple day observance that boasts a variety of events. The lead up to the big day begins with a performance of Shrek, The Musical at Lions Wilderness Park Amphitheatre on June 29, followed by the three-day San Juan County’s Gem and Mineral Society show at McGee Park Coliseum, a TGIF luncheon sponsored by the Farmington Parks, Recreation and Cultural Affairs at Orchard Park, and then Piedra Vista High School volleyball team’s annual dawn to dusk co-ed tournament takes place at Brookside Park. The Family Freedom Fest happens on the evening of July 3 at the Farmington Museum & Visitor Center where you can cheer for the participants in the Yo Down Show Down Yo-Yo Contest, listen to music, and en-joy the fireworks blasting off from nearby Sullivan Hill. Finally, on July 4 there’s a Party in the Park. Brookside Park is the home base for entertainment, food vendors, petting zoo, live music, a skateboard competition and pizza eating contest. The grand finale is the Farmington Rotary Electric Light Parade held in the historic downtown. Whew!

7. Annual Smokey Bear 4th of July Parade & Stampede Rodeo, Capitan, NM

The town goes all out honoring the stars and stripes throughout the day. There’s a parade, it wouldn’t be a small-town celebration without one, that features the town’s most beloved citizen, Smokey. People line the streets whooping it up for parade participants in horse-drawn wagons, on horseback, on firetrucks, with pets and in military, antique and custom cars. Kick off the July 4 by taking part in the Smokey Bear 10K or two-mile fun run. The Stampede, the country’s largest open rodeo, is four days of traditional, women’s, youth and open ranch rodeo events, live musical performances, a barbecue cook-off and dinner, a dance and, after the last bull is ridden, a fireworks extravaganza.

8. Independence Day: HEROES - Yesterday, Today and Tomorrow, Silver City, NM

Begin the day at Gough Park at the annual Kiwanis pancake breakfast. After you’ve eaten your fill, wander over to the downtown section to watch the parade which snakes its way down Pope, Bullard, Broadway, Hudson and 12th Street. Head back to Gough Park for live music, food and art vendors and the Silver City Fireworks Show sponsored by First American Bank. Be sure to take some time to go to the Silver City Museum courtyard for the 34th Annual Ice Cream Social taking place from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. Nothing like a root beer float to celebrate the day!

9. 4th of July Celebration, Las Cruces, NM

The city puts on a two-day Happy Birthday America party that begins with the Electric 5K run on July 3. That night the Electric Light Parade makes its way through town. Par-ticipants must incorporate the theme “Celebrate Our Freedom, Our Patriots and America” into their entry. On our country’s actual birthday, the day’s events begin at 4 p.m. at The Field of Dreams with youth games. Musical performances throughout the afternoon include a tribute to Neil Diamond by Play Me, patriotic and contemporary music from the Air National Guard Band of the Southwest, R&B performed by GAP X The Band and a classic rock performance from Blue Oyster Cult. As the night skies get dark, there will be a presentation of the colors and a spectacular explosion of fireworks.

10. Michael Satterfield Memorial Fireworks Extravaganza, Roswell, NM

The alien capital of the world plays host to this year’s rocket’s red glare blowout with an otherworldly spectacle. Sponsored by the Roswell Sertoma Club, in coordination with the City of Roswell Fire Department, Roswell Recreation and Parks Department, the Police and Streets Departments, this show is a memorial tribute to a  man who was the heart and soul of this annual celebration. First on the evening’s agenda at the Cielo Grande Recreation Area are a few live musical performances followed by the headlining act, the Kumbia King All Stars. Other things to do include family-friendly games and jumping balloon houses, plus sampling the different food vendor options. Of course, the big moment is the “aerial display of unprecedented proportions,” also known as the fireworks show. It’s all free. Don’t forget your lawn chair and blanket. The show lasts about 30 minutes.

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