4th of July: Celebrating in New Mexico during coronavirus

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ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. (KRQE) – This year’s Independence Day celebrations will look a little different due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Some of New Mexico’s largest cities have already canceled their festivities due to COVID-19 concerns, while a few municipalities around the Albuquerque area are planning to move forward with modified shows. Below lists everything you need to know about events and closures in Albuquerque and nearby firework shows.

What’s Open in Albuquerque?

Albuquerque Closures

  • Senior Centers are closed due to COVID-19 and meal services will not operate on Friday, July 3. An extra frozen meal will be distributed on Thursday, July 2.
  • There will be no ABQ Ride or Sun Van service on Saturday, July 4.
  • Animal shelters will be closed on July 4, except for the intake desk and reclaims.
  • Child Development Centers will be closed on July 4.
  • Most city offices will be closed on Friday, July 3 in observance of the holiday.
  • Health & Social Service Centers and community centers will be closed on Friday, July 3 in observance of the holiday.
  • Libraries and Open Space Visitors Centers will be closed on July 4.
  • ABQ BioPark Aquarium & Zoo closed due to COVID-19.
  • Albuquerque Museum closed due to COVID-19.
  • Balloon Museum closed due to COVID-19.
  • KiMo Theatre closed due to COVID-19.

Firework Events Around the State

Albuquerque

Albuquerque’s Freedom Fourth concert and fireworks show has been canceled. However Mayor Keller on Saturday, June 27 announced there will be four fireworks displays across the city on July 4. The four fireworks displays will launch from the following locations at 9:20 p.m. on July 4th:

  • Ladera Golf Course
  • North Domingo Baca Park
  • Manzano Mesa Park
  • Tom Tenorio Park

The sites will be closed to the public several hours ahead of the launch time for safety reasons.

The City of Albuquerque is strongly discouraging people from gathering near the launch sites. There will be police at each launch site and street parking around the area will be restricted in the hours leading up to the launch time and throughout the event. Officials are urging families to enjoy the firework shows from their own homes.

Also, CUMULUS MEDIA is partnering with the City of Albuquerque and Bernalillo County to simultaneously broadcast on KKOB’s AM and FM channels a musical soundtrack during the fireworks shows. There will also be a one-hour pre-show leading up to the fireworks displays on several CUMULUS’ stations on July 4.

Rio Rancho

Rio Rancho is planning what it calls a “Fourth of July Drive-In Fireworks Extravaganza” on July 4. The city says it will let the first 1,000 cars into the Rio Rancho City Center lot to view a display from their vehicles, while “adhering to state-mandated social distancing guidelines.”

Parking opens at 7 p.m. and the fireworks are set to begin at 9 p.m. Cars will be distanced in the parking lots with two spaces between each car.

If people want to get out of their vehicles, they must sit in front of, on, or in the back of their vehicle, according to the city’s website. Once parking is full, vehicles will be turned away from the event area. No event parking will be available at the UNM Sandoval Regional Medical Center.

Restroom facilities are available in a limited capacity at the Santa Ana Star Center. Also, no concessions will be available at the event so bring your own food. No alcoholic beverages are allowed at the firework event.

Closures

City of Rio Rancho offices and facilities will be closed on Friday, July 3 and Saturday, July 4 in observance of Independence Day. For additional information about the City of Rio Rancho including a listing of other observed city government holidays, please visit the city’s website, www.rrnm.gov.

Los Lunas

The Village of Los Lunas will have a large-scale firework show on July 4. Los Lunas parks officials announced in a recent Facebook video that their fireworks display will be moved from Fernandez Park to the hills west of the city. City officials plan to launch a public display from the “LL Hill” near the I-25 exit.

Village officials in Los Lunas are encouraging people to drive to a nearby parking lot and social distance from others while watching the fireworks display. According to a post on Facebook, the entire bluffs neighborhood west of Huning Ranch West will be closed all day. The ECDLL Preserve and trailhead will also be closed all day and the Sundance Elementary is closed and off-limits.

Officials say there will still be access to all parts of Huning Ranch. They are also asking that people do not park illegally, block entrances or driveways, enter private property, or park along NM 6.

How to keep pets safe on Fourth of July

Animal Welfare is encouraging pet owners to protect their pets from potential harm by taking these simple precautions during the Fourth of July festivities.

  1. Leave your pets at home and indoors. The noise of the fireworks for most pets could cause anxiety, fear and a desire to flee.
  2. Keep pets in a lit, cool, calm closed room with familiar sounds and chew toys that will help to distract and make the animal feel safe.
  3. Identification tags and microchips are a must in case the pet escapes. This will help to reunite the pets and the owners quickly and effectively. Please make sure information on tags and microchips are updated.
  4. If the pet gets especially stressed, ask your vet for help to calm your pet down.

Firework Safety

The City of Albuquerque would like to remind residents of firework regulations and safety. if you see illegal fireworks report them by calling 311 or via the OneABQ app. You can also report them online.

Permissible Fireworks

The following are allowed to be sold and discharged within the City:

  • Ground and handheld sparkling devices
  • Cone Fountains
  • Crackling Devices
  • Cylindrical Fountains
  • Flitter Sparklers
  • Ground Spinners
  • Illuminating Torches
  • Wheels

Prohibited Fireworks

  • Aerial Spinners
  • Helicopters
  • Mines
  • Missile-type Rockets
  • Roman Candles
  • Shells
  • Stick Type Rockets
  • Chasers (bottle rockets)
  • Firecrackers

Illegal Firework Penalties

Anyone that is caught with illegal fireworks will be cited, have their fireworks confiscated, must go to court and could face up to a $500 fine and/or 90 days in jail.

  • Using illegal fireworks is punishable with a citation and immediate confiscation of the illegal fireworks and places the community at risk for fires.
  • It is a misdemeanor
  • A mandatory court appearance
  • A fine up to $500 and 90 days in jail
  • The improper use of permissible fireworks and/or the illegal use of aerial or ground audible devices can result in the user or supervising adult being found grossly negligent and financially responsible for damages.

Safety Procedures

  • During ‘Red Flag Warning’ days, fireworks should not be used to prevent fires
  • Purchase fireworks from local vendors to ensure they are safe and legal within city limits
  • Only use fireworks on paved or barren land to prevent combustible materials from catching fire such as houses and vegetation
  • Have a hose or water source on hand in case of fires
  • Do not allow children to handle fireworks and always have an adult present when using fireworks
  • Read and follow fireworks directions carefully
  • Dispose of used fireworks in a water bucket and ensure they are cool to the touch before disposing of the garbage
  • Call 911 in case of a fire and leave the area immediately

Copyright 2020 Nexstar Broadcasting, Inc. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

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