Albuquerque Tricentennial Celebration Begins April 16th

ALBUQUERQUE, N.M., April 15 /PRNewswire/ — There’s good reason to celebrate in Albuquerque, New Mexico: The city is preparing to turn 300 years old. And to kick off 18 months worth of festivities, a Tricentennial opening celebration will take place on April 16, 2005.

The opening event, which is free to the public, includes an individual half-marathon, mass ascension of 100 hot air balloons at Albuquerque’s Balloon Fiesta Park, opening remarks by Albuquerque Mayor Martin Chavez and other dignitaries, oversized puppets known as “gigantes” representing the numerous cultures of Albuquerque, and much more. The highlight of the day will be performances and historical narrative celebrating Albuquerque’s Native American, Spanish, Mexican, Territorial and Statehood eras.

The April 16th event sets the stage for an 18-month long celebration of Albuquerque’s 300th birthday that will culminate in a grand party in Spring 2006. The theme of Albuquerque’s Tricentennial is “An Illuminating Experience,” commemorating the yesterday, today and tomorrow of Albuquerque.

Each month will feature a theme including: April 2005 — Heritage; May 2005 — Museum and Visual Arts; June 2005 — Dance; July 2005 — Music; August 2005 — Agriculture and Cuisine; September 2005 — Architecture; October 2005 — Sports; November 2005 — Science and Technology; December 2005 — Festival of Lights; January 2006 — Natural History Museum; February 2006 — Authors; March 2006 — Theatre Arts; April 2006 — History, Education and Birthday Bash; May 2006 — Visual Arts and a Left Bank of the Rio Grande Experience; June 2006 — Music Festival; July 2006 — Culture; August and September, 2006 — A Glimpse Into Future; and October, 2006 — Closing Ceremonies.

Sunday April 17 also marks the opening of an exhibit at the Albuquerque Museum entitled “El Alma de Espana (the Soul of Spain).” The exhibit is comprised of over 100 works from institutions all over the world by Spanish masters such as Murillo, Goya and Ribera. They highlight a range of art produced in Spain during the late 16th through early 19th centuries.

Dedications will take place during the Tricentennial to honor Albuquerque’s past 300 years, while looking toward the next 300 years. Public establishments such as the Albuquerque Museum, Rio Grande Zoo, Rio Grande Botanical Garden and Tingley Aquatic Park will undergo expansion and renovations over the 18 months.

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