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How to Celebrate America's Birthday in Albuquerque

Celebrating the Fourth of July in Albuquerque means doing it in a way that's uniquely our own. Take a solid dose of tradition and add a twist of individual charm, and you've got the Duke City's formula for a fabulous Fourth. It may be a traditional celebration, but it's packed with lots of fun.

We love a parade--but not just any parade

Start the Fourth with a parade in Rio Rancho, where a children's bike decorating contest wheels in the day. The kids' display is followed by a classic parade through town to Veterans Monument Park, where a ceremony marks the 236th anniversary of the adoption of the Declaration of Independence.

Other parades around the Duke City provide everyone with a chance to wave their flags.

Hot air balloons are part of the ABQ landscape

Rainbow Ryders

In Albuquerque, hot air balloons fly 365 days a year. For those who want to celebrate in a way that's uniquely Albuquerque, meet up with the folks at Rainbow Ryders and lift off on a one of a kind Fourth. It's not unusual to see balloons dot the sky in the Duke City, even on the 4th.

In ABQ, we celebrate with fireworks--but not just any fireworks

Balloon Fiesta Park opens at 3 p.m. for Freedom 4th, a one of a kind extravaganza of music, fireworks and fun. A local beer garden helps keep the grownups happy, and kids can unwind with jump houses, rope climbing and more. Live music through the day includes the Rudy Boy Experiment, Joanie and Combo Special, Sim Balkey & the Honky Tonk Crew and OnQ Chorus. 

Grammy award winning Wynonna takes the main stage at 8 p.m., and fireworks begin at 9 p.m. It's the biggest fireworks display in New Mexico for the day--and the year.

Only in Albuquerque can you celebrate with fireworks and hot air balloons at the same time

Red, White & Balloons takes place at the Balloon Museum, where a traditional picnic dinner of hamburgers and hot dogs is paired with the balloons in the museum. Enjoy live music and family fun throughout the day.

Take in the giant fireworks display of Freedom Fourth away from the madding crowds. VIP parking is included in the price of the ticket.

Fourth of July brings out the band

The New Mexico National Guard's 44th Army Band will perform at the New Mexico Veterans Memorial on July 4 at 5 p.m. The free Fourth of July Band Concert will feature traditional ceremonial music. The visitor center will be open for display. 

Nowhere else in the world can you see fractal fireworks

The first Friday of every month, the planetarium dome at the New Mexico Museum of Natural History and Science puts on a dazzling display of fractal science and art. On July 4th, in honor of Independence Day, you'll be treated to a special show of exploding fractals that were inspired by fireworks. 

Hot dogs, Isotopes home games and more fireworks

Take in the All-American game of baseball this Fourth of July weekend when the Albuquerque Isotopes play the Las Vegas 51s at Isotopes Park on July 4. Fireworks will fill the sky after the game, weather permitting. Gates open at 4:30 p.m. Berm tickets will be available for $9 each once stadium seats are sold to capacity.

A split doubleheader on Saturday, July 5 will begin at 12:05 p.m., with the second game at 7:05. Fireworks will fly again after game two. Adult replica jersey giveaway is on July 6 as the 'Topes take on Las Vegas for one last game. The hometown stretch continues July 7-10 as the 'Topes take on the El Paso Chihuahuas. 

Pork and Brew spells BBQ

"BBQ Sausage" by Christopher Craig/Flickr

You'll hear the sizzling before you get there. The annual Pork & Brew at the Santa Ana Star Center features bbq, beer, live music and family fun, July 4 - 6. Take part in eating contests, and chomp down the BBQ created by those vying for the state championship. It's got to be good, que no?

Music includes the Joe Sais Tribute Band, Red Wine, Toby Brooks and the Electric Edric Project.

ABQ kids will notice their spidey senses tingling

Everybody's favorite web-slinger will swing into Cliff's Amusement Park July 4, 5 and 6. The Marvel superhero will be part of the fun at this favorite family fun park. 

Kids will also be at Hinkle Family Fun on July 4 for unlimited play specials. Military, law enforcement and public safety officers get a free pass with the purchase of a pass of equal value.

ABQ kids appreciate holidays and like to make the best of them--kid style, and the 4th of July is no exception.

To be or not to be there

Albuquerque's Civic Plaza will be bubbling all summer with the words of the bard with Shakespeare on the Plaza. Hear his words July 4th as A Midsummer Night's Dream brings a forest to the center of the city. Confusion will ensue, but all will be sorted by show's end.   

Teeing off is a Duke City Fourth of July tradition

This year will be Albuquerque's 70th annual men's city golf championship. Los Altos and Arroyo del Oso golf courses will be busy with putts and drives July 4, 5 and 6, as the city's golfers vie for the title.

For some, the Santa Fe Wine Festival is an annual tip of the hat to our nation's birthday

The Santa Fe Wine Festival comes of age in 2014, its 21st year. The wines of New Mexico will be uncorked at El Rancho de las Golondrinas, where festival-goers will toast the country's birthday with some of New Mexico's best wines. Entertainment includes Hot Honey, Todd and the Fox, Bus Tapes and La Junta.

Fireworks are restricted....what you can and can't do

Fourth of July will see Albuquerque's streets filled with fireworks as families bring them out to set them alight. 

With drought conditions in Albuquerque, every season is fire season. The city of Albuquerque restricts the sale or use of all aerial and ground audible devices within the city limits. 

Aerial devices include aerial spinners, helicopters, mines, missile-style rockets, Roman candles, shells, stick rockets, and chasers. 

Ground audible devices include chasers and firecrackers. 

Permitted fireworks that can be used within the city are cone fountains, crackling devices, cylindrical fountains, flitter sparklers, ground spinners, illuminating torches, toy smoke devices, and wheels.

Units from the Albuquerque Fire Department will patrol Albuquerque streets on July 4, 5 and 6 to ensure fireworks safety. Those caught with illegal fireworks will be cited and given a court appearance.

Bernalillo County restricts fireworks that shoot higher than 10 feet in the air, have a six foot or larger coverage area, as well as fireworks that sound louder than a cap gun. 

Ground devices and hand-held sparkling and smoke device fireworks are limited to paved or barren areas. A bucket of water or hose should be at the area to extinguish the fireworks.

Fireworks are banned in the wildland areas outside city limits, to include east of Louisiana to the west face of the Sandias; from San Antonio north to Sandia Pueblo; all of the east mountain area in all directions to the county line; and portions of unincorporated areas to include the Rio Grande bosque and wildland areas extending 1,000 feet from the edge of the bosque.

Anyone caught with prohibited fireworks will be issued a citation and may have to appear in court. Individuals responsible for damages due to fireworks will be held liable for the damages.

The best way to ensure fireworks safety is to leave fireworks displays to trained professionals.