Heritage Days Parade marches through Portales

By Clarence Plank: PNT Staff Writer

Other than yet one more case of bad timing for the Portales High class of 1969, Saturday’s Heritage Days Parade went off without a hitch.

The Portales High School Band marched with alumni and current members up Avenue O, U.S. 70, Second Street and down Abilene Street to City Park.

Bob Sikes of Portales said his 1969 class reunion float was canceled due to early rain, though the weather soon cleared up. He has been in the parade before, when he was a member of the Portales band.

“The homecoming parade used to be our big parade,” Sikes said. “There were years when we had 25 bands for the Eastern New Mexico University Homecoming parade.”

Sikes said there was a pretty good turn out for Heritage Days Parade. He said every time his class has a reunion, it rains.

“It happened at our 10-year reunion in 1979, and at our 20-year reunion in ’89,” Sikes said. “Here it is, our 40-year reunion and there’s rain.”

The parade had horses, antique cars and trucks, people handing out candy, children and adults tossing candy from moving vehicles.

Portales Police Capt. Lonnie Berry marched with PHS band, while playing the tuba. He was the only member of the 1976 class to be in the band on Saturday. He was marching with other alumni from the 40s through the 80s, who were in town for different events. Berry said it has been 30 years since he has played the tuba.

“It was a blast, we got to meet up with classmates from several years back,” Berry said.

People from the parade made their way over to City Park for games, food and music.

Sharon King, executive director of the Roosevelt County Chamber of Commerce, said the park had a lot more vendors than last year, which was 38. There were 60 vendors, plus a climbing wall and a carnival.

“It was good,” King said about the turn out for the festivities at the park. “People are starting to crowd around for the Bluegrass show.”

Heritage Days comes to a close Sunday with a church service at City Park at 11 a.m., and Gospel Grass and food starting at 12: 30 p.m.