Fiesta comes to St. Helen

By Thomas Garcia PNT Staff Writer

A mini army of parishioners were making preparations for the 37th annual St. Helen’s Fiesta in Portales.

The fiesta will be held Friday through Sunday and include food, game booths, live Christian music, bingo and a car show, said St. Helen executive administrator, Elvia Garcia.

Members of the St. Helen youth group helped fellow parishioners, on Wednesday, to make tamales that have been ordered as part of the fiesta.

“I have made tamales with others before but never this many,” said Savanah Salas, a Portales High School sophomore.

The group has made 44 dozen but still has more than 60 dozen to go, Elvia Garcia said.

“The fiesta and tamale sales are our biggest fundraisers of the year,” Elvia Garcia said.

The funds raised from the fiesta and tamale sale will be used to help fund the youth group and purchase a building for religious education, she said.

“I have been with the church for two years and think the fiesta is a great way to bring people together,” said Father Jim McGowan.

“We try to hold events that will appeal to all age groups and that the community will enjoy,” Elvia Garcia said.

The car show is in its third year and this year there will be a category for motorcycles, said car show organizer Fabian Lopez.

“We like to draw in new people to the fiesta but there are a lot of parishioners with cars that like to enter into the show,” Lopez said.

The fiesta at St. Helen has been going on since 1971, prior to that time a Spanish dinner was held dating back to when the church was established in 1952, said parishioner Jose Garcia.

“Before St. Helens Church there was only a mission called St. Elizabeths in Portales,” Elvia Garcia said. “It was part of the Our Lady of Guadalupe Church of Clovis.”

Schedule of Events

Friday
7 p.m. Barbecue dinner and themed basket silent auction.

Saturday
8 a.m. Car show registration.
10 a.m. Morning Mass.
11 a.m., Festival begins (booths, car show, food and music).
1 p.m. Pinata for children.
4 p.m. Pinata for children.

Sunday
10 a.m. Morning Mass.
11 a.m., Festival begins (booths, car show, food and music).
1 p.m. Pinata for children.
4 p.m. Pinata for children.
Auction and Raffle