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Film/Television Editor, Copy Editor Devin D. O'Leary served as film/television editor at Weekly Alibi for 28 years. He wrote and produced four feature films here in New Mexico and has been the booker/host of Midnight Movie Madness screenings at Guild Cinema for 13 years.

Boxing Bear Brewing Co. offers up a "BearQueno" beer in honor of ABQ's birthday.

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Albuquerque, our state’s most populous city and the place most of us call home, was founded in 1706 by Nuevo Mexíco Governor Francisco Cuervo y Valdés as La Villa de Albuquerque. We’ve had a bit of a name trim in the intervening centuries, but 2021 AD marks the 315th birthday of the Duke City.

From April 10 through April 25, the Department of Arts & Culture teams up with local businesses and artists to offer a variety of fun-filled activities, virtual performances, online and local shopping and more for families to join and wish the city a “Happy 315th Birthday.”

Party Around Town

A variety of local merchants are handing out “birthday” discounts and other special offers during the two-week, citywide party. The Anderson Abruzzo International Balloon Museum, for example, is offering a free four-pack of tickets to families. Just go to abqballoonmuseum.holdmyticket.com and enter the code “ABQbirthday.” The Explora science center in Old Town is offering a 31.5 percent (see what they did there?) discount in their online gift shop (explora.us/store/). Use the code “Bday” at checkout. Other local merchants offering birthday discounts or free gifts can be found at cabq.gov/artsculture/special-events-festivals/albuquerques-birthday-celebration.

Taste of the Wild at the ABQ BioPark has come up with a special sweet treat, the sprinkle-covered Birthday Cone, which comes with a Zia symbol cookie. Give it a taste while exploring one of Albuquerque’s favorite outdoor locations. Local screenprinting company Guerilla Graphix has designed a special 315th Birthday T-shirt. You can buy one of these colorful garments at their Nob Hill or Downtown locations or online (guerrillagraphix.com). New Mexico Tea Company (nmteaco.com) is coming to the party with a special New Mexico Breakfast Blend tea. The Roobios Blood Orange blend has a special message on the bag, wishing Albuquerque a Feliz Cumpleaños. Blackbird Coffee in Old Town has concocted a Birthday Latte with a special 1706-2021 stir stick, while Rebel Donuts is serving up an ABQ Birthday Bash Donut with turquoise icing. And Rude Boy Cookies in the Bricklight District (rudeboycookies.square.site) has a whole selection of birthday cookies.

Art (Not ART)

Local artists have teamed up with area businesses to create custom installations to add to the party atmosphere. Check out these talented individuals’ work as they decorate businesses along Central Ave. Stroll through Nob Hill and find special “315” artwork adorning the windows of Frenchish, Ohh! Ahh! Jewelry, Retail Therapy, Slice Parlor, Off Broadway Vintage, Empire Board Games, Remedy Day Spa. Craft Hair Studio and Farina Alto Pizzeria.

In addition, Electric Playhouse—the interactive gaming and recreation wonderland on Albuquerque’s Westside—is showing off its digital skills, setting up dazzling, after-dark light displays at a variety of outdoor ABQ locations. The laser light projection show will glow at each location from 6:30 to 8:30pm. Upcoming locations include: Safe House Distilling (April 16 and 23), New Mexico United Team Shop (April 17 and 24), Electric Playhouse (April 18), Albuquerque Museum (April 19), Isotopes Park (April 20), KiMo Theatre (April 21), the “Greetings From Burque” Mural in Nob Hill (April 22) and the Anderson Abruzzo International Balloon Museum (April 25).

Tune In

And what would a birthday party be without a “Happy Birthday” sing-along? Online concerts will hit Facebook (facebook.com/abqspecialevents) and YouTube (youtube.com/user/GOVTV16COA) in the coming days. Award-winning bilingual singer-songwriter Lara Manzanares composed a special anthem for the party. The “Albuquerque Song” will be streamed on Tuesday, April 20 at 7pm. And New Mexican string band Lone Piñon performs a concert live from the Farmhouse at the ABQ BioPark Heritage Farm. Watch it on Facebook or YouTube on Friday, April 16 at 7pm.

For a complete list of ABQ 315th Birthday Celebration Events, locations and times, see the full list here.

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