Residents celebrate Christmas events

By Tony Parra

The Christmas Parade ran through the Portales downtown area and the event culminated with the crowning of the Little Miss Merry Christmas on Friday.
The event began with a crowd of approximately 100 people gathered in front of the Roosevelt County Courthouse. The crowd braved a mild cold weather, however, barrels with fire helped keep the crowd warm while they enjoyed choir singing.
The Portales High School choir, under the direction of Franklin Smith, sang “What Child is This”, “Throw Open Your Shutters” and “Carol in the Bells” during the choir singing.
“The cold weather really didn’t affect our singing,” Chris Jarvis, a Portales High school senior, said.
Jarvis said it’s nice to have the event in early December because many Portales residents go out of town during the Christmas break. Jarvis fits under that category — he said he will be traveling to Santa Fe to visit family for Christmas.
“It’s been fun at school, but I’m looking forward to the Christmas break,” he said.
The crowd needed merely to turn around and walk a few steps to enjoy the Christmas parade.
A jeep decorated with Christmas lights started off the Christmas parade and people lined up the streets to watch the parade floats. There were inflated snowmen in three different floats, including a float by the Portales Girl Scout Troup and a Wal-Mart float.
“It was really nice and the kids enjoyed it,” Carrie Scott, who brought her sons three year-old Jayden and one year-old Kyle, said.
Carrie and her husband, Jeff, watched the Portales Christmas parade for the first time. She said they were unable to watch it last year. Carrie said she previously lived in Denver.
“I’m not used to the small-town Christmas parade,” Carrie said. “There’s a country feel to it. It’s better than waiting two hours for a parade like we did in Denver.”
The night was capped off with last year’s Little Miss Merry Christmas, Stephanie Lee Chandler, presenting the crown to the new Little Miss Merry Christmas, Taylor McIntyre.
“They were all pretty,” Chandler said. “I thought all of them were perfect. I’m glad she won. Taylor is my best friend. We go to daycare together.”
McIntyre was up against other little girls between the ages of four and eight from Roosevelt County: Chesney Carter, Aymri Chavez, Carissa Davis, Emmory Maul, Marilyn Sotelo and Araceli Soto. Kyle Cochran, chairman of the Little Miss Christmas committee, said the winner was the one who raised the most money for the Christmas light decorations in the downtown area.
“I like singing and acting,” McIntyre, the 8-year-old winner, said. “I was really nervous. I’m glad I didn’t wear a red dress because there were four other girls wearing red dresses. I’m glad I choose a white dress.”
Terra Benson, McIntyre’s mother, said she was proud of her daughter and was really excited to hear her daughter won.