El Pasoans can celebrate Independence Day in a variety of ways, from popping their own fireworks outside the city limits or attending an organized event.
El Paso County Commissioners took no action to ban fireworks at a recent meeting because the necessary drought conditions could not be met.
Here is a roundup of area events for those looking for alternatives.
El Paso Chihuahuas: Enjoy a night of baseball against the Fresno Grizzlies and an early Independence Day celebration at 7:05 p.m. July 1 at Southwest University Park. Get a free miniflag with paid admission while supplies last. The team will be out of town July 4.
West Side Independence Day Parade: The Rotary Club of El Paso’s Independence Day parade will be from 9 a.m. to noon. July 4, starting at Western Hills Church, 530 Thunderbird. The grand marshal is Sun Bowl Executive Director Bernie Olivas. The 2.6-mile parade route will go from the church down Shadow Mountain, then up Mesa to Coronado High School. Information: 474-4241, july4parade.com
Pop Goes the Fort: The El Paso Symphony Orchestra will perform a free concert celebrating America’s Independence July 4, at Biggs Park, 11388 Sergeant Major Blvd. Assistant orchestra conductor James Welsch will lead the symphony in a patriotic and pops concert featuring USO Show Troupe in salute of the brave men and women of Fort Bliss and all those who served to protect the country.
Biggs Park will be open at 4:30 p.m.; festivities will begin at 5:30 p.m. with a cannon "Salute to the Union.” Concert begins at 7:30 p.m. and the evening ends with fireworks.
The concert and activities are free and open to everyone. Make sure to bring valid ID for access to Biggs Park through Biggs gate. Lawn chairs and coolers are welcome. Pets, alcohol and glass containers are prohibited. Food and beer is available for purchase.
Ascarate Park: The county's Parks & Recreation will have a Fourth of July celebration from 5:30 to 10 p.m. July 4 at Ascarate Park. Parking is $5 per vehicle and picnic shelters are free on a first come, first serve basis. Shelter rentals are available starting at $50 for the day.
Ardovino's Desert Crossing: The restaurant invites patrons to enjoy a BBQ buffet, from 6 to 10 p.m. July 4 with music from Bosse Band and fireworks from the area. Reservations recommended. 575-589-0653.
Independence Day Extravaganza: The city of Socorro's annual celebration has music, food trucks, rides and fireworks on July 4. Gates open at 4 p.m. at Cougar Park, 10664 Socorro Road. Free. 915-860-8615.
Inn of the Mountain Gods: One of the biggest fireworks shows in New Mexico returns with the Star Spangled event that includes live music, barbecue and jumping balloons, starting at 3 p.m. July 4 on the Inn of the Mountain Gods lawn. Free for all attendees but wristbands for unlimited access to attractions and concessions are available for $10. Free shuttle service is also offered until midnight to ensure safe transport to and from parking lots.
La Viña Fourth of July Picnic: The winery, 4201 S. NM Highway 28 in La Union, N.M., will host its 21st annual picnic 11 a.m. to 6 p.m. July 4, featuring musical entertainment. Bring a picnic or buy a hamburger or hot dog from K&B Barbeque. Croquet, badminton and a water slide. Wine, soda, water and wine margaritas for sale. No coolers or pets allowed. Admission is free. Visitors may bring their own lawn chairs. Information: (575) 882-7632 or lavinawinery.com.
Las Cruces Independence Day celebrations: The Electric Light Parade, “America Rocks” is at 9 p.m. July 3, beginning at Apodaca Park, 801 E. Madrid, and traveling south on Solano Drive, east on Hadley ending at the Maag Softball Complex. Information: (575) 541-2550.
Night Ranger will lead the concert at 8 p.m. July 4 at Pat and Lou Sisbarro Community Park, 3205 Arrowhead, at New Mexico State University. Opening performer ukulele virtuoso Jake Shimabukuro will perform at 6 p.m. Free.
Fireworks will kick off at 9:45 p.m. Gates open at 4 p.m. Food vendors on site; no grilling, personal fireworks, alcohol, RV’s or overnight parking allowed. Information: (575) 541-2550, (575) 646-5981 or las-cruces.org.
Mesilla Independence Day: The annual fireworks display will start at 9 p.m. July 4, at the historic old Mesilla Plaza. Bring a lawn chair; no pets or alcohol. Live music and food vendors, 6 to 9 p.m. Admission is free. Information: (575) 524-3262, ext. 116 or mesillanm.gov.
Silver City Independence Day: The annual parade will be at 10 a.m. July 4, in Downtown Silver City. Kiwanis Pancake Breakfast precedes the event in Gough Park; activities and entertainment throughout the day. Fireworks at dusk. Information: (575) 538-3785 or silvercity.org.
Silver City Museum’s 36th annual Ice Cream Social is 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. in museum’s courtyard, with refreshments, live music, Cake Walk, traditional children’s games and more.
Maria Cortes Gonzalez, El Paso Times