Portales gets ready to shine on televised centennial celebration

Kevin Wilson

Everybody dreams of extending their own birthday party. So when a KFDA-TV representative in Amarillo called Kim Huffman, it was too great an opportunity to pass up on Portales’ behalf.
The Portales town square will play host to the station’s news broadcast at 4 p.m. Thursday with the theme a continuance of Roosevelt County’s centennial celebration.
About a month ago, an official with the Amarillo-based CBS station called Huffman, the executive director of the Roosevelt County Chamber of Commerce. Portales was offered a chance to be one of five communities that would play host to a broadcast of the station’s evening news.
“It came about because NewsChannel 10 gave us a call,” Huffman said. “I said, ‘Sure, I want to show off Portales.’”
The end result is that Portales is part of the station’s week-long Summer Celebration Tour. The tour began Monday in Clovis and will feature Hereford, Texas, Guymon, Okla., and Childress, Texas.
Huffman couldn’t disagree that the station gave the chamber a chance to do its primary function — to promote its community. But he said it came down to more than that.
“It’s more than my job,” Huffman said. “I’m proud of this town. I think if more people saw it and saw (that) it’s a nice place to live, it’s a nice place to grow up, it’s a nice place to have a family, I think they’d live here.
“I’m not just doing this because it’s a job.”
From the phone call came the formation of a committee, and from that committee came the idea to offer the event as a continuance of the county’s centennial celebration.
The 90-minute event will feature a birthday cake and food, along with live entertainment and games.
The Portales Fire Department will play a role, including a fire hose challenge. Fire Chief Steve Beaty first heard about the celebration from City Manager Gerald Depo in a staff meeting, and he said he wasn’t a hard sell.
“Anything that showcases Portales showcases all of us,” Beaty said.
Both an ambulance and a fire truck will be at the square, as Beaty made arrangements with on-duty employees. He joked that the fire truck could be used to make rain if necessary, but hoped that the Fire Department would only be needed for non-emergency functions.
“Hopefully, nobody gets heat stroke,” Beaty quipped, “and we’d have to use the ambulance.”
Avenue A and Main Street will be closed to traffic and all events will be inside the square. Huffman said the merchants at the square will be the most inconvenienced, as parking for each establishment will be sealed off.
“I don’t think it’s a huge sacrifice because there are going to be people there,” Huffman said, noting that some businesses may opt for sidewalk sales during the event. “There’s some inconvenience, but I wouldn’t say anybody’s sacrificing anything. But the benefit far outweighs the inconvenience.”