City prepares for Freedom 4th celebration

ALBUQUERQUE (KRQE) – Albuquerque’s Fourth of July celebration kicks off Friday, but planning for it has been going on since last year.

It takes hundreds of city workers and tens of thousands of dollars to make it all happen.

The traffic barrels are out and the vendors’ tents are up.

Albuquerque’s Freedom Fourth celebration at Balloon Fiesta Park starts at 3 p.m. on Friday.

The city said it costs about $180,000 to pay for everything from security to entertainment.

A big chunk of that, $40,000 goes toward the Independence Day tradition, fireworks.

Before the half-hour light show launches, a crew with Western Enterprises has a lot of prep work.

“We don’t want any flaws, and I like giving myself an extra day or two just to make sure we’re on the right track,” Michael Sena said.

On the outskirts of Balloon Fiesta Park up on a dirt hill overlooking the field, the fireworks crew started putting up the boxes, the mortars and the shells on Sunday all according to plan.

“We have a script which we go by and that script is incorporated into the show, and it’s just pages and pages of just different types of shells, sizes of shells, different effects,” Sena said.

There are more than 1,800 fireworks ready to go.

Everything is covered in case there’s rain, which always seems to happen this time of year, Sena said.

“As soon as we start shooting the show, it starts raining,” Sena said.

Rain or not, Sena said the show will go on for a crowd that could top last year’s 60,000.

Wynona and the Big Noise is headlining the event at 8 p.m.

The fireworks show will launch afterwards at about 9:20 p.m.

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