Parade of lights leads off Christmas activities

Tony Parra: PNT Staff Writer

The city of Portales is lit up with Christmas lights and soon enough Christmas lights will be flowing through the streets of Portales as part of the Christmas Light Parade.

The Christmas Parade will take place at 6:30 p.m. Friday and will start at the corner of the Trader Horn True Value hardware store parking lot and make its way north on Avenue C to the downtown area.

There will be activities going on at 6 p.m. at the Roosevelt County Courthouse, such as singing and music.

The coronation of the Little Miss Merry Christmas will take place in the Cornerstone Building next to the square and is the climax of the parade activities. Girls who are in the pageant must be between the ages of 4 and 10.

There are three contestants in the Little Miss Merry Christmas pageant. Hannah Morgan Spears, who is 6 years old, is a Steiner Elementary first grade student who enjoys ballet, drawing, playing dress-up and singing. Spears likes making cookies, presents and decorating trees the most during Christmas time.

Sydney Garcia, who is 4 years old, enjoys hobbies such as reading and riding her bike. The food and the gifts are what she likes about Christmas.

The third contestant is Megan Lynn Stacy, a 5-year-old who is attending kindergarten at Brown Elementary. Her hobbies are playing T-ball, playing soccer and riding horses. She enjoys playing with friends and baking cookies for Santa Claus during Christmas.

Kylee Webster, organizer of Little Miss Merry Christmas, said the winner of the pageant is the girl who raises the most money through fundraisers such a bake sales. Webster said the winner gets to ride in city parades throughout 2006.

The coronation concludes the Christmas parade activities. Amy Franz of the Roosevelt County Chamber of Commerce said there are 11 entries so far in this year’s parade ranging from antique cars to floats. Franz said the floats are entered into three categories and a winner is selected for each category. Traveling plaques are awarded to each winner in the three categories: Business, church and non-profit organizations.

Last year’s winners were Roosevelt County Electric, Central Christian Church and the City of Portales. Franz said they are still taking entries and she is encouraging anyone who is wanting to enter to call 356-8541.

The first ever Portales MainStreet Winter Wine Fest will be in conjunction with Friday’s parade festivities. Jeremy Sturm, Portales MainStreet manager, said the wine fest will allow Portales residents to sample a variety of wines from the Cottonwood Winery of Artesia.

Tickets are $25 per person and each person has to be at least 21 years old. Those who purchase a ticket will get a glass of wine of their choice and tasting of 70 other different wines available. There will also be fruit and cheeses and the High WInds Jazztet will be the entertainment for the wine-tasting event, which will take place from 5:30-9 p.m. on Friday at the Do Drop In courtyard.

“I’m hoping it will become an annual event,” Sturm said. “If it goes well, we can make it an annual event.”

The event is a fund-raising event for the Portales MainStreet Program. Among other things, the Portales MainStreet organization has created a fund which helps downtown business owners renovate the facades with grants.