By Christina Calloway
PNT senior writer
Bobby Terry’s eyes were as bright as they reflected the fireworks in the Thursday night sky. He made they typical noises that a child would make in awe of the bright flares and smiley face shapes but the colors that garnered the biggest reaction from Terry were red, white and blue.
“I like how the fireworks symbolized the colors of the American flag,” Terry, 9, said. “The fireworks express our freedom.”
Terry joined his family and other families across Roosevelt County to enjoy the Fourth of July celebration at the Eastern New Mexico University soccer field, organized by the Roosevelt County Chamber of Commerce.
Terry said he wanted to make his eyes wider so he could take in the grand finale of the show.
“I like the finale the best because you could see a lot of the flag in there, I think it’s really cool,” Terry said.
But it wasn’t just the bright lights that had Terry feeling patriotic, he said. His father who is a veteran tells him many stories about the experience he gained from serving the country and it makes Terry appreciate his dad and other servicemen and women.
“It’s an honor to our soldiers who have died in the war,” Terry said of the show. “I’m going to be a part of this country and help out.”
Matt Glaser of Roswell, the crew chief for Stone Braker Rocky Mountain Fireworks, brought his family to watch the show he helped create.
He was happy to make Portales’ celebration a first for his daughter Elora and says he appreciates the small town atmosphere and being a part of the Portales tradition.
“It’s a celebration where the community actually comes together,” Glaser said. “I’ve been to a lot of fireworks shows and I’ve never seen one that had all of this, celebrating our independence. It’s epic.”
Thursday was also a first for country singer Will Banister. Of the many shows he’s performed in the area and across the world, he was happy to make his hometown the first place he performed the national anthem.
“It was neat, it’s something I thought about doing as a kid,” said Banister, who admitted he was nervous.
Banister, who celebrated his 25th birthday on Thursday, says he’s been attending the Fourth of July celebration in Portales since he was a child and as his family continues to grow, he’s glad it’s something he can share with his children.
“It gives you a sense of hometown pride,” he said.