By Eric Norwood Jr.
CMI staff writer
It’s beginning to look a lot like Christmas at the Portales Senior Center.
The fifth annual Winter Wonderland is bigger and better, and Dawn Kryder has been working hard since Sunday took bring a merry mood to the big room of the Portales Senior Center.
“Every year it gets bigger and bigger. We’ve already popped breakers,” said Kryder, referring to all of the electricity used due the sheer number of Christmas lights.
Kryder, director of the Senior Center as well as Portales Area Transit, loves Christmas and cannot wait for the citizens of the community come and see the Winter Wonderland she created.
“This is really just so people can get out of the hustle and bustle and stress for just a few minutes, and they can feel Christmas in their heart. That’s our gift to them,” said Kryder.
The Winter Wonderland features ornaments and multiple holiday themed tables. There is a table dedicated to the Roosevelt County Sheriff’s Department, the U.S. military, and the Portales Fire Department. Portales Senior’s Association president Beatrice Moore helped Kryder set up, and holds a special place in her heart for the Sheriff’s and Fire Department tables.
“The whole event is special to me, but my favorite tables are the Sheriff’s and Fire Department,” said Moore.
There is also a special table that Kryder designed in memory of her late mother, Shirley Kryder, died Sept. 10 of this year.
“She loved Christmas; that’s where I get it from, probably every bit of it,” said Kryder, as she admired her mother’s table. Kryder used her mother’s collection of Santa figurines to design the table.
The Wonderland will be open through Friday. Admission is free, but a small toy is requested. The toys will be given to the Portales Police Department to donate for its Santa Cop event on Saturday. Santa Claus will be making an appearance on Friday, and any children who would like a picture taken with Santa will have that opportunity for free.
“Just bring your own camera,” added Kryder.
What: Winter Wonderland
Where: Portales Senior Center at 421 N. Industrial Drive
When: Today-Thursday 5 p.m.-9 p.m. Friday 5 p.m.-10 p.m.
Admission: Small toy requested, not required.