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Celebrate July 4th in Socorro: Entertainment, Food, Fun

SOCORRO, N.M. June 22, 2015 – Tired of the crowds, the search for parking, high concession prices? Wouldn’t you like to listen and dance to New Mexico’s favorite Hurricanes – for free?
 
Here’s a sizzling tip: Ditch the Big City for the small town of Socorro and enjoy Independence Day as it was meant to be celebrated – with music, entertainment, food, fun and fireworks in a friendly, community setting. New this year is a parade to open the day, starting at 10 a.m. at the Historic Plaza, going down California, up Bullock, and ending at the music venue, Macey Center.
 
New Mexico Tech and City of Socorro has just the ticket: a 23rd annual Fourth of July celebration on the grassy grounds of the campus north of Macey Center that’s free to all – and so is parking.
 
“Consider coming to Socorro for the Fourth, and leave the hassles of the city behind,” said Ronna Kalish, director of Tech’s Performing Arts Series (PAS) and event organizer.  “And if you live here,” she added, “Well aren’t you lucky, this is the place to be! This is our 23rd year coordinating the Fourth of July celebration, and we’ve learned a lot over the years.”
 
Indeed, food, beverage and other vendors moved several seasons ago to a larger area able to accommodate a bigger tent and more booths. Kalish and company also have tried to give the fans what they want, and that means lots of family options, such as the return of Clan Tynker with their magic show and juggling acts; water slides and balloon jump for the kiddies; traditional barbecue; and a lineup of first-rate entertainment, all back by popular demand.
 
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Al Hurricane Jr. and Al Hurricane will return to Socorro for the July 4 celebration on their farewell tour.

 

“A Fourth of July in Socorro wouldn’t be complete without a Hurricane or two. This year, we are lucky enough to be a part of Al Hurricane’s farewell tour,” Kalish said. “Al Hurricane and Al Hurricane Jr. have been fixtures of our July 4th Celebration for years and we’re pleased that they are coming back to Socorro to say farewell.”
 
This year’s line-up includes some new names and some crowd favorites. Revelation is a local rock band of middle school musicians. The Tanya Griego Band is a Spanish singer and bandleader from Grants and now Albuquerque. The DCN Project is what Kalish calls “the hardest working band in Albuquerque” that plays R&B, funk, soul and jazz. For the first time, the Socorro band Suavecito will close the show with their blend of Spanish, country and rock. Returning acts include the Socorro Community Band, Clan Tynker, Doug Figgs and the Cowboy Way and the Et Alia Belly Dancers.
 
“We made a few changes to the lineup this year, but we still have an exciting mix of local and New Mexico performers,” continued Kalish. “The whole state can know that they can see Al Hurricane and Al Hurricane Jr. on their farewell tour and a great fireworks display, in a safe and family-friendly venue, all for free, plus all the other popular and talented Socorro bands.”
 
After the parade, the Socorro Community Band, led by Dr. Eileen Comstock, a musician and physician, open the celebration at 11 a.m. Comstock leads her band through traditional Independence Day tunes, among them “The Star Spangled Banner.”  Laced throughout the band’s performance are John Philip Sousa (1954-1932) marches, a genre in every good band director’s repertoire.
 
Starting at noon, members of Clan Tynker will perform a one-hour stage show of magic, juggling, stunts, music and comedy followed by a stroll through the crowd, delighting both kids and adults throughout the afternoon on stilts, high-rise tricycles, magic and even a few old-time Vaudeville routines.
 
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Revelation features up-and-coming Socorro musicians.

 

Revelation takes the stage at 1 p.m., featuring local youth: singer Moises Castillo, 10; guitarist Jaryn Gonzales, 14; bassist Nicolas Gonzales, 13; and drummer Aaron Gonzales, 14. Their music ranges from classic rock to heavy metal. 
 
The Tanya Griego Band takes the stage at 1:45 p.m. Born and raised in Grants, N.M., Griego was introduced to music at an early age. Being influenced prominently by her father’s love of music Tanya began dreaming early on about having her own album produced. This dream was fulfilled when her self-entitled album was released in 2012. 
 
With only four years in the music scene Tanya’s career has grown vastly. Hits like “El Gusano,” “Te Quiero Mucho,” and “Madre Soltera” have opened doors for Griego, including performances at the New Mexico State Fair, the 2012 New Mexico Sharing the Road Event, Tejano Fan in San Antonio, Texas, and performing live on ESPN-TV. 
 
Tanya’s sophomore album, “Sobrevivire” was released in mid- 2013. “Ya No Voy a Llorar” and “Sies Pies Abajo” hit the charts the week of release, showing the growth and capability of Tanya’s talent.   Fans were eager for the release of “Tres Pretendientes,” a single off her third album in March 2015.  Tanya has included all new songs like “Golpe Traidor,” “Dile a Tu Esposa” and many more.  
 
Tanya recorded this third album in San Antonio, Texas, adding a new flavor to her sound. With her powerful, energetic and heartfelt performances there is much more to come from Tanya Griego. 
 
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Clan Tynker returns to New Mexico Tech with their signature vaudeville performance.

 

Doug Figgs, another local favorite, will take the stage at 3 p.m. with his band, the Cowboy Way, featuring guitarist Mariam Funke and multi-instrumentalist Jim Jones. The trio has been turning heads recently, winning the Western Music Association’s 2014 Trio Harmony Award.
 
The Cowboy Way serves up an entertaining blend of song-writing, harmonies and musicianship. They band plays old favorites of Country and Western music, both contemporary and classic, mixed with originals that will have everyone tapping their feet and singing along.
 
DCN Project debuts in Socorro at 4 p.m. This versatile three-piece music and entertainment group, brings a wealth of experience to complement any occasion. DCN’s repertoire has earned a reputation for the vast variety of songs they perform. Their song list includes music by Steely Dan, Stevie Wonder, Al Green, Jimi Hendrix, James Brown, Eric Clapton, the Doobie Brothers, Bob Marley and many more. 
 
With refined talent and expertise, they adapt with ease to a wide range of genres including jazz standards, bossas, R&B, funk and soul classics.  Socorro was wowed by DCN Project at 2013’s SocorroFest, with many requests to “bring them back!”
 
Et Alia Belly Dancers will perform at 5:30 p.m., followed by the Hurricanes. Back by popular demand, are the ranking father and son showmen of New Mexico, none other than the iconic, King of New Mexico Rock, Al Hurricane and Al Hurricane Jr., who need no introduction. The Hurricanes, who are among the best-known New Mexico entertainers, are event headliners with a performance scheduled for 6 p.m.
 
Spanish and rock band Suavecito, led by Anthony Lukesh, will perform the final set, beginning at 8:15 p.m. Other band members are Lorenzo “Porky” Valenzuela on vocals, Anthony’s dad Carl Lukesh on lead guitar, and David Luna on sax. Suavecito is the third iteration of two earlier bands led by the elder Lukesh – La Raza and Unida, dating back to 1981.
 
“The majority of what we play is New Mexico Spanish music,” Anthony said. “But we’re versatile – we’ll play whatever the occasion calls for.” Generally, that means a good selection of rancheras and cumbias, always crowd favorites.
 
At dusk, around 9:30 or so, the pyrotechnical experts at New Mexico Tech’s Energetic Materials Research and Testing Center (EMRTC) will put on their own aerial show. “EMRTC’s reputation is based on explosives research, so when it comes to the handling and detonation of pyrotechnic devices, they’re the experts,” Kalish said. “As always, we ask that people not bring their own fireworks to campus. Bring your lawn chairs from home, your coolers, grills, sun shades and plenty of sunscreen, but leave your fireworks at home.”
 
So make plans to make a day of it, stay the night at any one of the city’s fine lodging facilities, or enjoy a late-night meal at one of its 24-hour restaurants.
 
– NMT –
 
Be Prepared – Hydrate and Take Cover 
Socorro has had its share of 100-year freezes, property-destroying hail storms and floods, but never any lower-case “hurricanes.”  However, local lore has it that it rained for the Fourth of July every single year, without fail, for so many years it was legend. Drought has altered that pattern in recent years, so if heading to town either way off I-25, remember to bring plenty of drinking water, sunscreen and portable shade, if possible.