Freedom Fourth happens every July 4 at Balloon Fiesta park. The City of Albuquerque puts on what can only be described as an amazing fireworks display.
Besides the fireworks, there are lots of other reasons to love this family friendly event. Everyone is admitted free of charge. There will be food vendors, a beer garden, entertainment and lots things to do.
Updated for 2016.
Gates open at 3 p.m. and the event runs from 4 p.m. – 10 p.m.
ATM machines will be on site.
Freedom Fourth is a rain or shine event.
Musicians will be showcased throughout the day.
- 3-4:15 p.m.- Impresion
- 4:30-5:45 p.m.- Kyle Martin
- 6-7:15 p.m.- Cowboys & Indian
- 7:30 p.m.- Ceremony with the national anthem performed by the Albuquerque Boy Choir
- 7:45-9:15 p.m.- Lonestar
- 9:15-9:45 p.m.- Fireworks
Lonestar will be the featured performer. The group performs country music.
The main stage is located at the north end of the park. There will also be a car show, a beer garden, face painting and lots of activities for the kids.
The Cultural Stage will feature the diverse cultures found in Albuquerque, celebrated in music and dance.
Fireworks begin at 9:15 p.m.
Just as you'll find at the Balloon Fiesta, the Freedom Fourth event draws a wide variety of food vendors. There are burritos, burgers, fried cheese curds, and more. For desserts there are all kinds of choices, from tiny fried donuts to ice cream and funnel cake.
If buying food at the event isn’t within your budget, take your own picnic basket and a blanket, and enjoy eating on the green grass of the park. There are a limited number of picnic tables in the food vendor area.
The Firecracker Cafe features a covered area that has private tables and a great view of what's going on.
The red carpet experience includes BBQ and other food, VIP access route and parking, a table with seating, a bbq dinner, soft drink coupon and a cash bar. Tickets are $50 for adults and $25 for children ages 4-12. Children aged 3 and under are free. Purchase tickets online. Doors open at 3 p.m. when chips and salsa will be available. Dinner is from 5 to 8 p.m.
A beer garden will feature local craft brews, to include Marble Brewery, La Cumbre Brewery, Bosque Brewing Company, Red Door Brewing, Distillery 365, Boxing Bear Brewery, Santa Fe Brewing, Left Turn Distilling, Kactus Brewing, Abbey Brewing, Abbey Brewing Company and Santa Fe Brewing Company and St. Clair will all be available.
If you drive yourself, there are several ways to get to Freedom Fourth. Parking is available at Balloon Fiesta Park, but the lines won’t be quick, and parking costs $10 per vehicle. Get to the park from Alameda and Balloon Museum Drive if coming from the south. Coming from the north, access the park from the I-25 Frontage Road and Balloon Fiesta Parkway.
Park and RIde
ABQ Ride offers park and ride buses to the Balloon Park from two locations. On the west side, park at Cottonwood Mall, between Old Navy and Regal Cinemas.
On the east side, park at Coronado Center west of Dick's Sporting Goods on San Pedro, south of Menaul.
Park and Ride to the Balloon Park runs between 3 p.m. and 8 p.m., and return trips run from 8 p.m. until 11 p.m. The cost for Park & Ride is $1 round trip for adults, 35 cents for honored citizens (62+ or handicapped) and students 10-18, and children 9 or under ride free. Exact change is needed, and bus passes cannot be used. Cash only! Service begins at 3 p.m. and ends at 8 p.m. Return trips end at 11 p.m.
Those who bike to the event can enjoy free bike valet parking, provided by the city's Esperanza Bike Shop. Park your bike along the north diversion channel near the Balloon Museum.
Parking at Balloon Fiesta Park is $10 per vehicle, to include Handicap parking. RV spaces are available by calling (505) 821-1000.
Access Balloon Fiesta Park from the southbound Frontage Road to Balloon Fiesta Parkway.
RV parking will be available for the event. RV reservations are accepted until July 2. Registration is required; contact Jennifer at (505) 821-1000.
What to Bring – And What Not to Bring
The City of Albuquerque has a list of what is not allowed at the event or on the Park and Ride buses. Do not bring alcoholic beverages, glass containers, drug paraphernalia, weapons, fireworks, or open containers. No bbq grills, camp stoves or other pop-up cooking devices or pop-up tents are allowed. No pets.
The city does allow coolers and picnic baskets, but they will be searched at the park entry gates and before loading at Park and Ride bus locations. Blankets, umbrellas and sealed plastic containers are also allowed, but umbrellas will be restricted to certain park areas so view of others will not be blocked. Tents or canopies are allowed, but must be staked to the ground. Strollers are permitted.
Don't like the crowds? See the fireworks from the Balloon Museum at their Red, White and Balloons event.