It??s about as hometown as celebrations come and this year Heritage Days in Portales will celebrate its 30th birthday June 20-21 at City Park.
The big feature of Heritage Days is always the parade and this year??s edition returns to its regular route after a couple years of road construction moved it to other streets. The parade begins at 10 a.m. on the Eastern New Mexico University campus near the corner of Second Street (U.S. 70) and Avenue O. It then proceeds east on Second Street to Abilene and heads south on Abilene to City Park. Parade entries are accepted right up until parade lineup time at 9:15 a.m. All organizations and businesses are welcome to participate there is no registration fee.
Once the excitement of the parade ends up at the park, several musical acts take center stage. At 11 a.m. a variety of locals, many of them veterans of the, Floyd Lions?? Jamboree stage start things off with a jam session that features what Linda Brown, organizer of the group likes to say is both kinds of music ??Country?? and ??Western.??
At 1:30 p.m. Heritage Days recognizes the Pioneer of the Year and the Roosevelt County Pioneer Committee. Then at 2 p.m. the music resumes with Bluegrass Christian music in the old time tradition. This year??s bands include Lindley Creek from Missouri and Second Time Around from Stephenville, Texas. Both are touring family bands.
Most of the other events that Heritage Days is known for will also be back. At 8 a.m. the Heritage Days Fun Run begins in front of the Yam Theatre. At 9 a.m. the Heritage Days Car Show will begin at City Park and the registration for the Heritage Days Bike Rally and Dice Run begin at the same time with the run starting at 9:30 a.m. Kids games will run from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. in the open area between the stage and car show and Abrazos Adventures will have pony rides on the west side of the park.
New things at this year??s celebration are a Cow Train and kids?? activities sponsored by St. Helens?? Fiesta and an Old West village and tee pee set up by Jim Standifer, Bob Wooley and others. Those who want to get a head start on the fun can do that on Friday evening as the Christian Country Jamboree spearheaded by Steve Davis and Steve Collins of MasterWorks. The music gets under way at 6:30 p.m. at City Park and continues until 8 p.m.. At the Roosevelt County Fairgrounds the Cowgirl Rodeo Association Heritage Days Barrel Racing books open at 4:30 p.m. Friday with exhibition runs starting at 5 p.m. and the open classes start at approximately 7 p.m.
The Chamber is accepting vendor applications up until 5 p.m. Thursday as well as parade, car show and motorcycle rally entries at the Chamber office at 100 S. Ave A or online at www.portales.com. There is no admission charge. For more information call (575)356-8541.