Albuquerque to pay nearly $100,000 for “social distance” fireworks displays

The Rio Grande Foundation always is on the lookout for unnecessary government spending. With this Independence Day “on lockdown” the City of Albuquerque chose to spend nearly $100,000 to put on four fireworks displays instead of the usual one at Balloon Fiesta Park (which actually cost the City zero).

This fact was not discussed in the recent KOAT Channel 7 story in which briefly shared my thoughts on the issue. In reality, the City could have modified  their one fireworks display to embrace reasonable social distancing guidelines (just as it seems could have been done with Balloon Fiesta. Instead, in a time of budget issues the City is spending nearly $100,000 for four displays throughout the City in order to keep  people at home.

Click the picture below for the full story:

Anyone who knows that he’s not a huge fan of fireworks. Hanging out in a car and watching the big City display from a nearby park is his preferred approach. It is strange and unfortunate that the City couldn’t come up with an innovative approach that brought Albuquerque residents together (safely) rather than keeping them apart.


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2 Replies to “Albuquerque to pay nearly $100,000 for “social distance” fireworks displays”

  1. Sir,
    I have always believed the fundamental responsibility of the government is to protect the citizenry. Perhaps I’m misinformed but It seems The Rio Grande Foundation and the GOP do not prioritize that role when it interferes with reopening restaurants.
    Texas, Arizona, Florida, and other impatient States have learned the hard way that human beings do not readily self-police when it comes to social distancing and wearing personal protective devices. In fact, we know people will RESIST mandated health precautions. As you know those states are now in deep crisis with casualties mounting daily and their Medical Infrastructures stretched to the point of collapse. We are not; we have made hard decisions. We have put people before commerce.
    For you to suggest that there was ever a possibility that Albuquerque could host a Balloon Fiesta absorbing an influx of more than 800,000 people from all over the world “safely” … is …pardon me … bat-sht crazy. I cannot think of anything that we could do that would be more irresponsible to our State our Nation and indeed the World. Any Government action that reduces crowd occurrences/ exposures saves lives. A good thing.Any Government action that increases crowd occurrences/ exposures risks lives.
    Seems there is a limitless font of criticism for our Governor but very little left for the duplicitous guy we put into the White House; the man with the most power to protect our citizens and our economy. Even as he protects Confederate monuments and fails to protect American soldiers.

    Issuing full-throated support of ANY government entity that seeks to protect the people of New Mexico is probably the best thing that the Rio Grande Foundation can do to help us stay safe and responsibly restart our economy as soon as possible. I hope you take that to heart.


    1. My understanding of what government is SUPPOSED to do is basically the preamble to the US Constitution: “We the People of the United States, in Order to form a more perfect Union, establish Justice, insure domestic Tranquility, provide for the common defense, promote the general Welfare, and secure the Blessings of Liberty to ourselves and our Posterity, do ordain and establish this Constitution for the United States of America.”

      I don’t see anything about “protecting people” aside from “common defense” which I hope you can agree is not what is happening on COVID 19. I suppose you can argue “general welfare,” but that is a pretty thin reed.

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