Glen Spencer on Thursday parks his tractors at the Verde Del Rio San Juan park in Bloomfield. Spencer, a member of the Four Corners Antique Power
Glen Spencer on Thursday parks his tractors at the Verde Del Rio San Juan park in Bloomfield. Spencer, a member of the Four Corners Antique Power Association, will display his tractors during Bloomfield's Olde Tyme Family Fourth festivities this weekend. (Jon Austria — The Daily Times)

BLOOMFIELD — A new Independence Day party with fireworks, hay rides and horseshoes, BBQ and belly dancing and a whole lot more kicks off the festivities today.

Hosted by the Gateway City Civitan Club, Bloomfield Olde Tyme Family Fourth offers family fun over two days.

Liza Gomez, former president for the club, said the idea for the community celebration drew inspiration from a bike parade in Salmon Park the last two years.

"We borrowed from the bike parade to (do) something bigger and a lot of people got excited about doing something as an annual event," Gomez said. "A lot of people embraced it and it turned into a two-day event. We didn't want to compete with (Farmington's) Freedom Days event. We wanted to do something on our own that didn't conflict with other events around the county." Starting at 10 a.m. at City Hall, Kevin Mauzy, the founder of the Four Corners Historical Monument Project, will unveil a new granite monument in front of City Hall with the Bill of Rights on one side, and the pledge of allegiance with a depiction of the Liberty Bell on the other.


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After a parade led by a President George Washington look-alike in stately wig and tails, the festivities move south to the park along the San Juan River in Verde Del Rio San Juan Park, at the end of South First Street.

Gomez promises plenty for party-goers of all ages to enjoy, including a bounce house and water games for kids, antique tractors and hay rides, music and more.

Jack Johns, the president of the Four Corners Antique Power Association, will offer hay rides both days by the river.

"Yer darn righty. I'll be there with bells and whistles. It ought to be fun," Johns said. "I'll be on the 1948 John Deere Model B style tractor. It's a jewel for a hay ride. I'll be the fella with a big ol' hat, huge like a sombrero. I'm excited. It tickles me to death."

The first day's program will end at 4 p.m., early enough to give people a chance to soak up other Independence Day events around the county, Gomez said.

On Saturday, the celebration gets into gear early with a 5k walk/run at 8 a.m. before the riverside park offers more live music, kids' games, live music, tug-o-war competitions, a dance performance, an artisan walk, petting zoo and a "King of the Grill" barbecue cook-off.

"It's a big party in the park, with a lot of neat things to see and do," Gomez said. "Bring lawn chairs for a nice day at one of our newest improved parks. The 5k will raise money for Tools for Schools, which provides free school supplies for Bloomfield kids."

A fireworks display atop the mesa on the south side of the river, will begin at sundown.

The event will close the evening with an outdoor screening of "The Sandlot," a baseball comedy film.

"It's something exciting for the citizens of Bloomfield," Mayor Scott Eckstein said. What is "unique about ours (is) that you can get a front row seat there by the river. It's also a chance for people to get together, come out with their familes for a safe, fun time. It's different. And the fireworks are going to be really incredible."

Here are other events celebrating the Fourth of July.

JULY FOURTH HOLIDAY EVENTS

--Bloomfield Olde Tyme Family Fourth celebration

Friday, July 4

Bill of Rights monument dedication: 10 a.m., at Bloomfield City Hall, 915 N. First St.

Bike/Pet/Foot Parade: 10:45 a.m., Start at high school's north parking lot, 520 N. First St.

Verde Del Rio San Juan Park events

Old Fashioned Party in the Park: 11 a.m. to 4 p.m.

Registration for Horseshoe Tournament: 11 a.m. to noon. $10 per 2-person team, sponsored by Farmington Noonday Civitan Club

Splash Bash water games: 11 a.m. to 4 p.m.

Belly Dancing by Red Desert Muse: 11:30 a.m. to 12:15 p.m.

Horseshoe Tournament: Noon

Elite Dance Performance: 12:30 p.m.

Live music: 1 to 4 p.m.

Saturday, July 5

Registration for 5K Run/Walk: 6:30 to 8 a.m., parking lot next to tee ball fields at Chris Keffalos Park, 700 S. First St.

Verde Del Rio San Juan Park events

5K Run/Walk: 8 a.m.

Artisan Walk, hay rides, music, food, entertainment, petting zoo, bounce house, and games for the kids: 10 a.m. to 5 p.m.

Belly Dance Performance by Red Desert Muse: 11 to 11:45 a.m.

Tug-o-war featuring the NM Miners vs. Bloomfield Fire Dept.: Noon

Live music by Bluestown of B-town band: Noon to 3 p.m.

Live music by Flat Water Band: 3 to 5 p.m.

Fireworks at Sundown: 9:15 p.m.

Free movie — “The Sandlot”: 9:45 p.m., after fireworks

--The 28th Annual Freedom Days Celebration in Farmington 

July 4 

Gem & Mineral Show: Farmington Civic Center, 10 a.m. to 6 p.m.  

TGIF Music & Lunch: Orchard Park, 11 a.m. to 1 p.m.  

Party in the Park: Brookside Park, 11 a.m. to 5:30 p.m. 

Skateboard Competition: Brookside Park, 11 a.m.  

Water Balloon Fight: Brookside Park at Party, 2 p.m. 

Papa John's Pizza Eating Contest: Brookside Park, 3 p.m.

Outdoor Summer Theater: “Footloose” by Sandstone Productions at Lions Wilderness Park, 8 p.m.  

Freedom Days Electric Light Parade: Main Street, Downtown Farmington, 9 p.m.

July 5 

Freedom Fours Co-ed Volleyball Tournament: Brookside Park, 8 a.m. to dusk 

Gem & Mineral Show: Farmington Civic Center, 10 a.m. to 6 p.m.

Ice Cream Social: E3 Children's Museum, 11 a.m. to 3 p.m.

Outdoor Summer Theater: “Footloose” by Sandstone Productions in Lions Wilderness Park, 8 p.m.

--Tommy Bolack fireworks show

Bolack's B-Square Ranch is located at 3901 Bloomfield Highway in Farmington: The fireworks can be seen from U.S. Highway 64 beginning between 9 and 10 p.m.



James Fenton covers Aztec and Bloomfield for The Daily Times. He can be reached at 505-564-4631 and jfenton@daily-times.com. Follow him @fentondt on Twitter.