Holiday sizzle starts early

By Thomas Garcia PNT Staff Writer

They’re lighting the fuse early, but coordinators are expecting a good turn out for the Roosevelt County Chamber of Commerce fireworks show and Smokin’ 3rd of July Bash today.

The date for the annual Independence Day celebration had to be changed to July 3 due after the Chamber was notified that the pyrotechnic originally contracted to do the fireworks would be unable to put on the show. Chamber Executive Director Sharon King said a lack of licensed personnel was the reason.

The Chamber was able to get Western Enterprises, based in Oklahoma, to put on the fireworks show. King said Western is the company that puts on Clovis’ Smoke on the Water show.

With Western already committed to Clovis, that meant the Portales show had to be the night before.

On Wednesday the pyrotechnic crews looked over the show location at Greyhound Arena and were pleased with it, King said.

“The show should last for 18 minutes with a big finale,” King said. “The fireworks will be set off electronically this year. In the past they were set off individually and we wonder if the crowd will notice a difference.”

Preparations for the second annual Smokin’ 4th of July Bash, sponsored by the Portales News-Tribune were also rescheduled because of the fireworks show moving to July 3, said event coordinator Viola Gonzales of the PNT.

“Everything is lined up, on schedule and on target for this year’s event,” Gonzales said. “We are hoping for the same phenomenal turnout as there was last year.”

People will be able to shop vendors’ booths and hear live music from bands including Morning Rise, Andy Mason and Don Thomas, said Gonzales.

The vendors will begin setting at 1:30 p.m. and the booths will open at 4 p.m. to the public. The first band will take the stage at 4 p.m. The bash will be open until the fireworks show begins, Gonzales said.

“Everyone should come out and enjoy the music, food, games and vendors of the bash,” Gonzales said.

There will also be barbecue at the bash prepared by Randy Small, owner of Bum Steer BBQ.

“We’ll start cooking the ribs at midnight,” Small said on Wednesday.

Small and his son Cody Small, were setting up the smokers and prepared the meat, Wednesday afternoon.

The cost of the barbecue is $10 for adults and $7 for children 12 and under.