The smell of fried potatoes and the sound of bluegrass music filled the air on Saturday at City Park in Portales as local residents enjoyed music, games and food at the 27th annual Heritage Days event.
Melvin and Marie Littlejohn and Joe Blair were honored as Pioneer of the Year. The Littlejohns, in their mid-eighties, are both lifetime residents of Roosevelt County.
“I felt like it was quite an honor to be chosen,” Marie Littlejohn said. “It was a surprise.”
Littlejohn said she has fond memories of bringing her children to Heritage Days when they were small and this year, she came to enjoy some of her family members playing bluegrass music.
“We are enjoying it and we’re going to enjoy it more,” she said.
Krista Avritt, 15, of Elida, was selected as the 2011 Roosevelt County Fair Princess. There was no queen elected for this year’s fair but Portales resident Courtney Hardin was elected the 2011 Roosevelt County Fair Sweetheart.
“It’s so amazing and so exciting,” Avritt said. “Me and Courtney were smiling the whole time.”
Avritt, who was chosen out of two contestants, said she will be helping with various tasks for the livestock competitions at the county fair. She said she hopes to run for county fair queen in two years.
As the event continued, children could be seen running in sack and horse stick races as adults enjoyed music, vendors and a car show.
“I think it’s gone well,” said Karl Terry, Portales Chamber of Commerce director and the events coordinator. “There was a pretty good turnout.”
Terry said Saturday morning after the parade, homemade ice cream was served to the Pioneers Association.
“They enjoyed that,” Terry said. “That was something new this year.”
Stephanie Prendergast, who worked the First Financial Credit Union booth, said her company has worked the event since 2003.
“It’s a lot of fun,” Prendergast said. “We get to meet a lot of people in the community.”
“People learn about us when we’re out in the public eye,” added Jan Henderson, credit union manager. “And it’s just good to be part of the community.”
Megan Hart, a resident of Cannon Air Force Base, said her family thought the event was “delightful.”
“We had a great time,” Hart said. “There’s something for everybody with the cars and ponies and food.”
The final event for Heritage Days will be held today at 11 a.m. at City Park and will include a church service and gospel music.