What could be more all-American for July 4 than ice cream? For more than a quarter-century, the Silver City Museum has celebrated the holiday with its Fourth of July Ice Cream Social. This year the fun also marks New Mexico's centennial, with free historic games including calf-roping, hot potato, graces, milk bottle clothespin drop, blanket toss, sack races, jump rope and bubblemania. Plus of course there's ice cream — in cones and root beer floats — along with popcorn and cold drinks, as well as a fresh fruit stand provided by the Silver City Food Co-op. Live music will be performed by the Gila Highlanders, Jessica Juarez, Rising River String Band, Concert Band of the Southwest and Gravel Road.
All the other traditional Independence Day festivities are on tap this month, too, starting July 3 with the Electric Light Parade in Las Cruces. On July 4, Silver City's annual parade will march through downtown, ending at Gough Park where vendors and live music keep the holiday spirit going.
But July's fun doesn't stop on the Fourth. July 21 is Big Ditch Day in downtown Silver City, with music, guided hikes, water activities, vendors, living history and more marking the flooded fate of the town's Main Street. (Read more in this issue's "Eco Smarts" feature.) That evening, the New Mexico Music Series brings Cathryn McGill to the Buckhorn Opera House in Pinos Altos.
Also on July 21, in Las Cruces, Steve Smith, Chris Sanders and Hard Road perform a benefit for KRWG at the Rio Grande Theatre. Hard Road features Bill Evans on banjo and Nate Lee on fiddle. The concert also marks the local debut of the musicians' new album, "Monticello."
Adults who ushered in the month with ice cream might want to swig it out with beer at the Las Cruces Tour de Beer at the Southern New Mexico State Fairgrounds. The July 28-29 event is sort of the beer-lovers' version of the annual wine festival, with a souvenir pilsner glass for your sampling instead. Music will accompany the suds, with The Liars on Saturday and Nosotros on Sunday.