Light parade to wow city

Tony Parra

If you’re in downtown Portales Friday night there’s one thing you almost certainly won’t miss — lights.
Fire trucks, tractor trailers and even a horse will all be laced with holiday glow during the annual Roosevelt County Christmas Jubilee Light Parade, which begins at 6:30 p.m. on the corner of 18th Street and South Avenue C.
“It’s small-town America at it’s finest,” Sharon Davis, chairman of Christmas activities, said. “It’s so much fun. People love it and they line up to see it.”
The 18th Annual Little Miss Merry Christmas coronation will take place in the downtown area after the parade. The seven contestants, who are between the ages of 4 and 10, will be escorted in Jeeps donated for the parade by The Rat Pack, a Jeep Club out of Portales.
There are 20 entries in the Christmas Light Parade, according to Davis. Santa Claus will follow behind as one of the final entries on a new Portales Fire Department fire truck.
Silver Paiz, the New Mexico State Fair Queen, will be riding on a Big Valley Ford truck trailer in one of the entries. There will also be an entry from Laurel Leppke of Clovis with a horse decorated with Christmas lights and Faith in Christ Lutheran Church will have a church frame with a picket fence and carolers.
Leppke’s daughter, Amanda Leppke, will be riding a 30-year-old horse named “Bill” in the parade. Bill will be decorated with 370 light bulbs powered by two six-volt batteries and a red Santa hat.
“Thirty years is fairly old for a horse, but he’s in great shape,” said Laurel, who works at the United States Post Office in Portales. “We’ll probably need to arrive between 1 and 2 p.m. to begin decorating him. He will have his saddle and bridle wire, but we still have to decorate his feet and tail with lights.”
Bill participated in the Clovis Christmas Parade on Saturday but was unable to carry an American flag because of the wiring of the lights, Laurel said. Laurel is hopeful that they will be able to alleviate the wiring issue this time around.
“We’ve been wanting to (have a lighted horse in the parade) for several years, but we never had the time,” Laurel said. “This time we sat down and did it.”
People can donate items such as cookies and cider by calling the Roosevelt Chamber of Commerce at 356-8541.