Celebrating Roosevelt County’s heritage was the focal point of Saturday’s 30th annual Heritage Days Celebration at City Park.
A fun run, parade, car show, concerts and vendors brought the community out to celebrate and have fun.
Roosevelt County Chamber of Commerce Director Karl Terry said remembering the counties heritage was why the celebration was started.
“It was 30 years ago when this was founded to honor our heritage and it is very important to us to remember it,” Terry said.
The celebration also honored Bennie and Donna Victor as the Pioneers of the Year.
Since it was the 30th year, the Victors got to enjoy cake as well as getting recognized as this year’s pioneers.
Heritage Days was kicked off by a parade that started at Avenue O and U.S. 70 and ended at City Park, where the vendors and concerts kept the celebrations going.
The parade started with the blare of the sirens from the Portales Police Department, Roosevelt County Sheriff’s Department and the Portales Fire Department vehicles.
Attendants riding floats from many local business and organizations from Portales threw candy to the children lining the street.
Sisters Arinana and Juliana Gonzales of Hobbs waited patiently for the floats to make their way down Main Street. Once the candy was thrown, the sisters rushed to grab as many pieces as they could.
Mom, Carly Gonzales, said it was their first Heritage Days.
“They are just so excited to get the candy,” said Gonzales as the girls put the candy in a chair.
Vanessa and Zach Washburn of Portales brought their sons Eli and Noah to the parade. Vanessa Washburn said they have been to several of the past parades and their sons always enjoy it.
“It was a good parade,” Vanessa Washburn said.
With more cars than ever before at this years car show, many people were enjoying the wide variety of classic and custom cars and pickups. Jo Beth Massey from the Eastern New Mexico Antique Automobile Club said there were 54 cars at the show.
“It is about ten more than we had last year and the variety of cars is higher, too,” Massey said.
Graham King of Clovis, who brought his 1970 Dodge Challenger, said he had never seen so many cars at this show.
“One of my first times coming to this car show there were about 15 cars and now it is huge. It is a really great turn out,” King said.
King takes his “Plum Crazy” — a reference to its color — car to many shows around New Mexico. But he said the Heritage Days show is more about meeting the people.
“There are a lot of good people here and I like to answer people’s questions about the car. This show is just a lot of fun for me,” King said.
Country and bluegrass gospel music was the background for the Heritage Days celebration as some families passed by the concert while others sat down on the grass enjoying the tunes.
Vern Witten of Portales enjoyed country music from the Random Strangers as he sat with his co-workers from Habitat for Humanity.
“(The) Weather is great and the music is wonderful, too. It is really great to see that the grass is green,” Witten said.
Random Strangers guitar player Audra Brown said the band has always enjoyed playing at Heritage Days.
“We love how relaxed the atmosphere is and it’s just a lot of fun to play here,” Brown said.
The band members were from Floyd, Farwell, Portales and other places around the local area.
Food, games and even pony rides highlighted the Heritage Days Festival at City Park with at least 70 vendors filling the park.
The Portales Police Department hosted a ring toss game. Children were lined up to play the game and win toys, such as baby dolls or a Captain America action figure.
“We have at least given out 300 toys,” said Mickie Gonzales, who works in the record department.
For Cade Dill, riding a pony was the most fun. Wearing his cowboy hat and boots, Dill rode the pony around the ring.
“I want to go again,” Dill told his mother Nikki Dill.
“He is such a cowboy. I knew he would love to ride the horses,” Nikki Dill said.
Abrazos Adventures brought the ponies to the event giving rides to children. Madisen Porter of Portales, and who works for Abrazos Adventures, said it was fun to see the children ride the ponies.
“We guide the horses and keep the kids in the saddle and the kids love it,” Porter said.