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Albuquerque's Freedom 4th to Feature Lonestar and Fireworks

Press Release [ Tue Jun 28 2016 8:00 AM ]

Albuquerque's Freedom 4th returns to Balloon Fiesta Park with a big celebration of our nation's birthday. With gates opening at 3pm the grounds will soon fill with thousands ready to celebrate and share time with family and friends.

The entertainment lineup is impressive, with country band Lonestar performing hits that will have the crowd on their feet and cheering. Recognized for merging country roots with strong melodies and rich vocals, the band has amassed AIAA-certified sales in excess of 10 million albums since their national launch in 1995.

Their ten No. 1 country hits that include "No News", "Come Crying To Me", and crossover smash hit "Amazed" (which also reached No. 1 on the Billboard Hot 100), have made them a name in the world of country music. Awards and accolades continue to rack up as the band enters their third decade together.

Lonestar takes the stage at 7:45pm and will hit their last licks at 9:15pm, followed by New Mexico's largest July 4th fireworks show.

3-4:15pm Impression, led by founder Louis Gallegos, specializes in polka music and hs won numerous awards, including the "KANW Peoples' Choice Award." The band plays in various locations around New Mexico and Colorado.

4:30-5:45pm Kyle Martin, the "original Rock 'n Roll Cowboy," will bring a combination of 'two-steppin' music" and "old time rock and roll"-a sub-genre called "Westrock"-that never fails to get audiences excited. He defines his music as "highly amplified western-themed honkytonk-style

6:15-7:15pm The rockin' hillbilly band Cowboys & Indian will bring high energy that involves "twangs, bops, scoots, or boots" to be one of the most entertaining groups around. Cowboys Jeff Cooper on drums and Matthew Ezzard on bass, with Indian, lead guitarist and vocalist Gerone Fragua, never fail to get the crowd going.

7:30pm A patriotic ceremony, featuring the Albuquerque Boy Choir singing the National Anthem, will focus the celebration on the birth of our nation before Lonestar takes the stage.

7:45-9:15pm Lonestar

Activities & Refreshments
In addition to the great music lineup, there will be more than 30 different food vendors offering the widest possible selection of delectable treats that range from burgers and barbecue, to shaved ice and ice cream, with many stops in between. Thirsty? Visit the Microbrew Garden where no fewer than 14 breweries, wineries and distilleries will offer up their best.

Younger family members can experience fun activities such as face painting, Knockerball, inflatables, climbing walls, all free of charge.

Take some time to cruise by the Car Show at Freedom 4th. This giant show will have it all from, muscle cars, hot rods, classics and more.

Firecracker Café
For those who want a special treat, check out the popular Firecracker Café, offering a respite from the crowds and heat as well as other benefits that include:

-A comfortable hospitality tent with private indoor restrooms, plenty of shade, a great view of the stage, and premier concert video and sound.

-A catered meal by Taste of the Wild Catering, featuring a buffet with Carved Achiote Rubbed Tri-tip, pulled-to-order BBQ pork sandwiches, BBQ Mushroom Medley, duck-fat roasted red potato salad with bacon, grilled corn-on-the-cob with fixings, and fresh watermelon. For dessert: Bomb Pops and ice cream sandwiches. Nonalcoholic drinks are included. Local beer, wine and cocktails will be available for purchase.

-An exclusive access road to avoid traffic, and a pass for exclusive close-in parking.

-An access pass to the premier front row Main Stage viewing area and a great view of the Fireworks Show.

Tickets for the Firecracker Café are $50 for adults and $25 for children ages 4-12; children 3 and under are free. Purchase tickets at

Admission to Freedom 4th is free. This is a rain or shine event.

Balloon Fiesta Park can be accessed off of the southbound Frontage Road to Balloon Fiesta Parkway. but there is a $10 parking fee per vehicle.

A good alternative to driving is Park & Ride from either Cottonwood Mall or Coronado Mall. Service to Balloon Fiesta Park begins at 3pm and runs until 8pm, with return trips to the malls running from 8-11pm. Fares are very reasonable at $1 for adults, $.35 for seniors, handicapped persons and students 10-18, and free for kids 9 and under. Cash only and exact change, please. Bus passes will not be honored.

Skip motorized transportation completely and ride your bike to the event, where a complimentary Bike Valet provided by Esperanza Bike Shop will offer the peace of mind of knowing your wheels will be safe while you enjoy all that Freedom 4th offers.

Please join us on July 4th for the celebration of the 240th birthday of the United States of America. We hope to see you there.

Brandon J at The Stage
Megan Reneau

Standing the Test of Time

Paul Oakenfold Remains Electronic Supreme

By Megan Reneau [ Mon Jun 27 2016 4:05 PM ]

Once when discussing clubs and venues in central New Mexico with a young promoter, I asked him what his favorite venue in the area was. “The Stage, probably. That’s the kinda shit they have in Vegas,” he told me. Not that I’ve ever been to a club or a casino in Las Vegas, but I have to admit he’s right. Just a short walk away from the front of Santa Ana Star Casino is their club The Stage is a local club I’ve never been to. I hadn’t ever gone there before because of the price of tickets (usually) and the distance from Albuquerque. I’ve realized the decision has been misguided because the quality of The Stage as a venue is incredible.

The space is beautiful and dark: It has dark flooring, black walls and minimal lighting. The most well-lit areas are the stage, the walking area on the bottom floor, the bar and the bathroom. And it’s all so lustrous and clean! I’ve been to a clean club once in my life and that was in Chicago.

The first opener was playing as I walked in and ordered drinks with my friend. I didn’t know who the openers were, so I asked the bartender who didn’t know either, but found out for me quickly. We went upstairs and set up camp for the evening waiting to see Paul Oakenfold watching and listening to Brandon J, the first act then later GRUM, the second.

Brandon J played atmospheric trance and had interestingly complex buildups and drops. GRUM played more club trance, but overall I found him underwhelming. While I understand openers are there to get the crowd warmed up, that doesn’t mean their sets have to be uninteresting. Near the end of each set the two individual DJs really stepped it up, so I could see that they could do much better though the crowd didn’t get to see much of it. Regardless, the crowd was really into each performer. A direct quote from my notes: the crowd fucking loves it.

As Paul Oakenfold took the stage the crowd applauded and cheered. Immediately I was impressed (although not surprised) by his obvious mastery of his craft. His melodies were intricate and interweaving; I never really noticed when they changed just that they had. At the beginning of the set he wove in a woman saying “I love when we play together,” an obvious nod to his fans thanking them for coming out.

Oakenfold can entwine melodies and genres unlike anyone I’ve heard before. The transition is often flawless for listeners. He started the two hour set with traditional trance then to rave trance house then anthem trance then club trance house then ended with dance trance. The small differences between the sub-genres are small but noticeable; through that he was able to control how the energy of the crowd and how they moved and danced.

The visuals to accompany his music certainly got my attention: videos of him walking, DJing, playing cards, skiing and snowmobiling were the majority, but there were some shorts of him as a lego character DJing which I thought was adorable. This 52 year old man who is critically acclaimed, has scored films and is one of the forefathers of the electronic genre as we know it today is into Legos. Like I said, adorable.

The audience was diverse, containing every type of person from businessmen to ravers. Throughout the show they all went wild. The dance floor was packed with sweaty bodies swaying and jumping every moment, there were few lulls. The energy of the room, even as high as it was, was fairly tame compared to other electronic shows I’ve been to. There were few people who were obviously on some kind of drug or outrageously drunk, and even though I like that there weren't any large disturbances (aside from a few people climbing onto the stage to talk to Oakenfold who always responded by smiling, chatting and touching his fans' hands), it does make for a pretty uneventful night.

Near the end of his set, Oakenfold mixed in a few of his classics like “Otherside,” “Ready Steady Go!” and “Southern Sun.” I was honestly hoping he would play “Starry Eyed Surprise” which was a collaboration with the musician Shifty from 2002 but it's not exactly a club song, so I resentfully understand.

At the last ten minutes of his set, Oakenfold had numerous buildups and drops. After the final, gentle drop at 1:55am, I left quickly, excited to sit down in my car with my friend after standing and swaying for the last four hours.

It was a long night, but the final quality of the show and venue has swayed me to return one day, not just for another show review like this, but as a casual member of the public.


Rhapsody in Burque

Infi-knit Autumn

By Monica Schmitt [ Mon Jun 27 2016 3:44 PM ]

If it were up to me, everyone living in Albuquerque would receive an enormous reward—maybe a freezer full of gelato or a trip to Alaska or a million dollars—for enduring the summer heat. Since I’m not in charge of positively reinforcing residents for tolerating hell, I just have to make do with what I have. Which, in this case, is the Yarn Store.

The quaint shop is located in Nob Hill just North of Central, and the murals make it an unmistakable destination. Hands woven out of colorful yarn that are holding knitting needles cover the entire back wall while an equally colorful collection of shapes spreads across the smaller side wall. I didn’t particularly need any craft supplies when I walked by the other day, but the paint jobs and prospect of air conditioning are enough to lure anyone inside.

A gust of air swept over me as I walked through the small front door. To my right were a couple of women working on projects and laughing together at a wooden table. I smiled and ventured further inside, admiring color-coordinated arrangements of all kinds of yarn. Cotton blends, plant blends and local fibers, to name a few. Skeins of yarn sat happily in cubbies, sorted with similar colors. One wall had crochet hooks and knitting needles; another room was dedicated solely to needlepoint work where an adorable collection of buttons sat beneath rows of string in every imaginable hue. My old lady tendencies took over, and I couldn’t help but get really excited about sitting down with a ball of yarn and starting to plan which colors would make good hats, and who in my friend circle might like another knitted Christmas gift this year ...

Walking through the store is like being transported to a different time, or at least a different season. It’s a dip into autumn whenever your heart desires, and for me, that’s pretty much always. I was drawn to the rusty orange and olive green tones and suddenly felt like it was a crisp fall day instead of what it actually was: the middle of June.

Throughout the store are pockets of project areas, where cushions and chairs welcome anyone to grab a seat and get to work. And it’s no problem if you’re not sure where to start; a bookshelf overflowing with how-to guides and Knitting for Dummies is strategically placed next to a few work spaces, inviting you to flip through and find whatever inspiration you’re looking for.

As I moseyed through the back of the store, touching soft wool overflowing from wicker baskets and admiring difficult-looking patterns, something moved on top of the shelf in the corner of my eye. Startled, I turned around to find a cat lounging behind a knitting magazine. The sleepy Yarn Store resident blinked a couple times, yawned and let me scratch his belly before resuming his catnap. Another reason to visit this place, clearly. If you haven’t been and even vaguely like crafting, go. Go for inspiration, go for a smile, go to expand your knowledge of alpaca wool, and definitely go to escape into a room full of cozy reminders that sweater weather will come again.

Event Horizon

Event Horizon

Get Lost

Wednesday, Jun 29: What Are Fractals?

By Joshua Lee [ Mon Jun 27 2016 10:00 AM ]
Learn about fractals through presentations and hands-on activities.
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Celebrate July 4th with Red, White and Balloons

Press Release [ Mon Jun 27 2016 6:38 AM ]

Billed as "A Star-Spangled 4th of July Celebration," the Red, White and Balloons event will be a great way to spend July 4th with family and friends. From 5-10pm both outdoor and indoor events offer the opportunity to enjoy live music, share a family picnic or a catered dinner inside the museum, and-the grand finale-New Mexico's largest Fireworks show!

Imagine being on the rolling lawn of the Anderson Abruzzo Albuquerque International Balloon Museum, acknowledged as one of the best view of the Sandia Mountains around, as you listen to an hour-long concert of patriotic music performed by the Albuquerque Concert Band. There will be fun for all ages with a variety of activities during the evening, listening to music from the Freedom 4th celebration at Balloon Fiesta Park, and then, to cap off the evening, fireworks! Bring blankets, lawn chairs and picnics (no alcohol or glass), or you can purchase food and beverages from on-site vendors.

Weather permitting, at dusk the Balloon Museum will host an exclusive Balloon Glow to enhance the festivities.

If you are more the indoor type, choose the Stars-N-Stripes dinner in the cool comfort of the Museum. Catered by The Cooperage, the meal will be holiday-themed and truly delicious! View the fireworks from the gallery and enjoy an evening celebrating the 240th Anniversary of the founding of the United States of America.

Tickets for the indoor dinner and gallery viewing are $25 per person. Tickets for lawn seating are $10 for adults (12+) and FREE for those under age 12. You may reserve an outdoor table for the evening for an additional $10.

Tickets for both indoor and outdoor options are available Tuesday through Sunday from 9am-5pm at the Balloon Museum Shoppe, or you may order online at Space is limited, so get your tickets now!


The Daily Word in Pink Snow, Balls of Light and the End of All Art

By Joshua Lee [ Sun Jun 26 2016 9:45 AM ]
The Daily Word

So, some of the Arctic snow has turned pink. Scientists lay the blame on an algae that turns red when hit by sunlight. It looks cool, but unfortunately it lowers the albedo number (which indicates how much light is reflected by a surface, dependent on hue), meaning the snow melts faster and the current climate model needs some tweaking.

Those good ol' Isotopes are at it again. Nine straight losses!

In 1951 a Denver waitress decided, after one too many beers, that she would like to see what happened when she jumped out the window of her fifth-story hotel room. This newspaper clipping says the jump (which she miraculously survived) taught her a "lesson." See? LSD isn't the only one.

So here's a reason not to go to LA anytime soon: The Skyslide, a glass chute that sits 1,000 feet above the ground, attached to the side of California's tallest building. Crazy people can enjoy the experience of "sliding off the side of a skyscraper." Alright.

Something that made my neighbor proclaim the "End of All Art" was near: New-Mexican film-maker Hannah Macpherson has created the first full-length Snapchat movie, Sickhouse. Darryl can be so fucking melodramatic sometimes.

H. C. Wu, a Chinese researcher, believes he's figured out the secrets of ball lightning, a phenomenon that has mystified scientists and pissed of UFOlogists since time immemorial.


Pest Control

Less toxic options

By Richard "The Bugman" Fagerlund [ Sat Jun 25 2016 8:19 AM ]

This week I would like to offer some least-toxic alternatives for controlling pests. I say least-toxic, not non-toxic because if it can kill a bug, it is slightly toxic. I will mention some brand names. I have no vested interest in recommending them. I do recommend them because they work very well.

Terro Bait is an excellent ant control bait that you can buy in stores. There are several Terro products, but I recommend the box that contains 6 bait stations. Terro is a sweet gel bait made from Borax. You take a bait station out of the box and hold it upright and cut off the colored section. Then place is and the rest of the bait stations in the box label side up near where the ants are active and where they may be coming into your home. Even though the active ingredient is Borax, make sure you don't place the baits where children or pets can come in contact with it. It can make them sick if they eat it. However, this product is much safer than the bait stations most pest control companies use as they contain pesticides as an active ingredient. This bait will work on a number of different species of household ants including the very common odorous house ants (Tapinoma sessile), little black ants (Monomorium minimum) and pavement ants (Tetramorium caespitum). If you have ants that don't take this bait, then you need to get them identified. You can send me some specimens and I will be happy to identify them for you and make a recommendation on a non-toxic control method.

Niban Bait is a granular bait made from Orthoboric acid. It is an excellent bait for controlling cockroaches and is also labeled for controlling silverfish, crickets, slugs, snails, carpenter ants and some other species of ants. It also works on controlling harvester ants, the ones that make the big mounds outside and sting if you bother them. Niban lasts several months, so you don't have to apply it very often. I recommend putting Niban under and behind appliances, under kitchen and bathroom counters, around hot water heaters, in your garage and in areas around your home, such as where the water meter is. If you only have cockroach problems, you will never have to use an exterminator if you use Niban Bait. You can buy Niban online from several sources. One source in New Mexico is

EcoSmart products are very good and are safe. They are made from plant oils and are EPA exempt. Much better than using synthetic pesticides. EcoSmart products are available in many stores.

There is an excellent fly trap that you can buy in stores. It is called Rescue Fly trap an it is a plastic container that flies will enter but can't get out. There is an attractant that comes with it that you put in the trap and add water. Flies love it. I have caught hundreds of flies in some areas in just a few hours. I would not recommend using indoors as the attractant is not pleasant smelling. The attractants are made with sucrose, putrescent whole egg solids, yeast, trimethylamine and indole. It will catch house flies, blow flies and flesh flies as well as some other species. These traps should be used on ranches where dairy cattle are kept and other livestock facilities but they work around homes when flies are present in large numbers for some reason.

Believe it or not, beer is very effective at controlling some pests. If you soak a rag in beer and put it in the middle of your garage floor at night, it will be covered in drunken cockroaches the next morning waiting for you to dispatch them. If you put some pie pans filled with beer out in your yard you will attract cockroaches who will get drunk and die in the brew. They do not check IDs and, for some reason, do not like Lite beers.

If you have any pest questions, you can contact me at or call me at 505-385-2820. My website is


The Daily Word in Looting, SCOTUS and Affirmative Action

By Megan Reneau [ Thu Jun 23 2016 2:47 PM ]
The Daily Word

The maximum prom level has been achieved.

How do human rights and global warming intersect?

It's not just congress that can't agree on anything.

Texas is surprisingly holding true to their affirmative action program, albeit barely.

For many homeowners whose homes were spared from the Dog Head Fire, they weren't spared from looting.

Event Horizon

Event Horizon

Off to the Races

Saturday, Jun 25: Grand Opening

By Renee Chavez [ Thu Jun 23 2016 12:00 PM ]
The grand re-opening of the newest Grandstand in New Mexico.
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Event Horizon
Pixabay / Public Domain

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Get on Your Kombucha Goggles

Saturday, Jun 25: New Mexico Fermentation Festival

By Maggie Grimason [ Thu Jun 23 2016 11:00 AM ]
A series of fermentation workshops, chef demos, local food trucks and kids' activities.
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