By Thomas Garcia, PNT Staff Writer
A crowd of Portales residents and visitors gathered at the City Park on Saturday to enjoy the food, fun and cool weather at the annual Heritage Days celebration.
Early morning rain showers had Heritage Day’s events organizer concerned about the turnout for the annual event.
Instead the rain seemed to work in their best interest.
“It made it a lot cooler out here and we don’t have to worry about dust,” said Sharon King, director of the Roosevelt Chamber of Commerce. “We are absolutely pleased with the turnout this year.”
The morning rain was welcomed, but it did make the arena a little soggy, according to Susie Thomas, director of the Cowgirl Rodeo Association of Portales
The CGRA hosted the first barrel race during Heritage Days with 75 riders scheduled to compete.
“We are really excited that we get to put on this hometown event,” Thomas said. “We are fortunate to have a great facility available for us to use. The fairgrounds personnel have been wonderful to us.”
There was a little of something for everyone to enjoy at the City Park, from interpretive belly dancing by Zahira of Portales, a car show, live music, and a variety of food and product vendors.
Some were returning fans of Heritage Days, such as Dent McGill, who said he looked forward to Glen Johnson’s barbecue every year.
Others such as June Collins were first-time visitors.
“I’ve lived here for 15 years and this is the first time I have come out to Heritage Days,” Collins said. “I did not realize that there was so much for a family to do out here. I will definitely be coming back next year.”
Janis Lindsey of Purcell, Okla., is performing for the first time with the bluegrass band From the Heartland.
“We have performed in Texas, but this is my first time across the New Mexico line,” Lindsey said. “This is a great event. I like being here.”
Not all the events were helped out by the rains. Some would-be participants in the motorcycle rally and car show backed out because of the rain.
“Despite the rain, there were 38 cars that entered the car show,” King said.
“We did not have as many riders as we thought we would,” motorcycle rally organizer Cindy Ortega said.