By Thomas Garcia PNT Staff Writer
The annual Heritage Days celebration will begin Friday with the Pioneer of the Year celebration.
This year’s nominees include Paul Murphey, Eunice Schumpert, Billy and Peggy Prater, Gene Collins and Tommie Bennett, according to Sharon King, executive director of the Portales Chamber of Commerce.
Pioneer of The Year candidates must be at least 75 years old and have live in the county for at least 50 years.
“The winner is chosen by determining which of the candidates has contributed to the community and had the biggest impact,” King said.
The three-day Heritage Days event also includes a parade, bluegrass concert, Geocaching, barrel racing, a motorcycle rally and car show.
Most of the events will be held at City Park.
The parade is expected to have at least 25 floats, King said.
The bluegrass music concert will have a gospel theme. Two of the seven bands scheduled to perform are from Portales.
“This is the third year to do this and it has grown in popularity, and (people) come solely for this program,” King said.
In conjunction with the concert, there will be a $5 bluegrass instrument workshop with instruction from a member of the performing bands.
The Rough Rider motorcycle rally will be held on Seventh Street in front of the pool, according to rally organizer Maxine McCollum.
“We are hoping for a good turnout for this year’s rally, with more people riding bikes these days,” McCollum said.
The rally includes biker games and a poker run, McCollum said.
Geocaching is a hunt for treasure using a set of coordinates and a GPS (Global Positioning System) device. The team that finds the most items and returns back to the starting point wins.
This event will begin at 9 a.m., starting and ending at Oasis State Park.
“On Friday there were 78 teams, 190 people, signed up for the geocaching,” King said. “Two of the people entered are from Indiana.”
Barrel racing is a new event, King said.
5 p.m. — Pioneer of the Year Celebration
6:30 p.m. — Christian Country Jamboree
8 a.m. — MainStreet Fun Run
9 a.m. — Car Show
9:30 a.m. — Motorcycle Rally
9:30 a.m. — Jackpot Barrel Race – Exhibitions
10 a.m. — Parade
10:30 a.m. — Vendors open
10:30 a.m. — Bluegrass instrument workshops
11 a.m. — Geocaching – must register by June 12th
Noon — Musical Variety Show
2 p.m. — Jackpot Barrel Race – Open
3 p.m. — Gospel Grass
3:30 p.m. — Car Show ends
6:00 p.m. — Booths close
11a.m. — Church services in the park
12:30 p.m. — Gospel Grass
The route for the parade will begin at Eastern New Mexico University proceed down Second Street up turning on Abilene ending at City Park.