Communities gathering to celebrate fourth

By Tony Parra: PNT Staff Writer

Roosevelt County residents will be celebrating the red-white-and-blue traditional holiday throughout the July Fourth weekend.
Residents can view the fireworks display sponsored by the Roosevelt County Chamber of Commerce via donations from residents and the lodger’s tax fund on Monday. Sharon King, Roosevelt Chamber of Commerce manager, said the fireworks display will take place by the Eastern New Mexico Greyhound Arena. King said the chamber is still accepting donations for the fireworks.
The fireworks will go off over the practice fields, but people can park by the arena and view them from there. The fireworks display will again this year be conducted by Allan Silvers, owner of Desert Star Pyrotechnics in Clovis.
But before people watch the fireworks, they can grab a bite to eat of barbecue brisket, ribs and chicken with other picnic foods by the ENMU track field. The first annual barbecue cook-off, sponsored by Portales High School supporters will take place in the afternoon leading into the early evening.
Portales High football coach Glenn Johnson said 10 teams have already entered into the barbecue competition. Johnson said there is no entry fee, but competitors must bring enough food to feed 25 people. The three categories are barbecue chicken, brisket and ribs and there are prizes for winners in each category.
“It’s going to be a lot of fun,” Johnson said. “These guys are going to bring different recipes and their food should be good.”
Johnson those who enter have to attend a mandatory meeting at 8 a.m. on Monday at the ENMU track. They can begin setting up their grills on Sunday evening. They can cook during the day and the judging begins at 6:30 p.m.
Those who want to eat can buy a plate of the food for $5 after the judging is completed.
Anyone interested in competing can contact either Johnson at 359-2251, Jerry Faver at 760-9573 or Bill Graham at 760-6339.
Elida will have an Independence Day celebration on Saturday. There will be a fireworks display once it gets dark by the Elida Schools track field.
However, there will be many activities during the day at Elida’s city park. There will be barbecue meats and baked beans provided by the Elida Fire Department. Adam Anthony of the Elida Fire Department is asking people who attend the noon picnic to bring covered dishes, such as salads and desserts.
The fire department is asking for donations. Anthony said the event dates back to the 1940s. He said in the 1970s people quit doing it, but the fire department started it up again as a fundraiser during the 1980s.
There will also be games and activities for people of all ages during the picnic, such as three-legged races, bicycle games, egg toss, turtle races and horseshoes to name a few.
There will also be a softball game at the high school baseball field at around 4 p.m. and a dance at the Elida Pavilion after the fireworks display.