Fiesta on way after delay

By Clarence Plank: PNT staff writer

St. Helen Catholic Church is hosting a fiesta in honor of its patron saint this weekend, and everyone can come and join the fun.

The three-day event has food, a car show, bingo, music, a silent auction, a cake walk and a carnival starting Friday night.

“Our celebration is normally in August,” Becky Lopez, director of the fiesta, said.

However, this year, other events on the schedule led the congregation to hold the fiesta in October for the first time.

The fiesta has been around for some time and is a fundraiser to help the church and Portales community. Friday night offers Mass and dinner, and Saturday has the car show, music, carnival, jumping castle and other activities.

“It’s our big fundraiser that helps out through the year to help out different organizations,” Lopez said. “It goes toward religion education and building improvements.”

Elvia Garcia, executive assistant for the church fiesta, said sometimes the money goes to help not only the church community, but the Portales community.

“We’re able to provide for the community here in Portales,” Garcia said, “whether it is to pay a water bill or to help buy groceries. It is also a part of whatever the needs are.”

More than 20 gift baskets have been put together for the silent auction, which runs Friday and until 5 p.m. Saturday. People attending the fiesta are encouraged to bid early and often for the baskets and other items.

“There are different organizations and business that make up these baskets,” Garcia said. “We’ve had a lot of businesses that have donated toward the silent auction to make it possible.”

CJ’s Pill Box put a basket together full of items to help with a cold, while another basket has popcorn, a quilt and movies for a movie night.

“Sometimes they pull up a trailer and we’re auctioning off a cow,” Garcia said.

The registration for the car and motorcycle show starts at 8:30 a.m. Saturday and costs $20. Participants will compete for trophies in different classes.

Sunday, there is a live auction with large items, such as a global positioning system, three grills, a digital camera, furniture and more.

The church is also raffling off a filled hope chest for $2 a ticket. The winner will be announced Sunday.

To donate or for information: St. Helen church office at 356-4241.