Parade, pageant to kick off holiday season

By Karl Terry: PNT Managing Editor

It’s likely the entire city of Portales will be looking for a sprig of mistletoe Friday night. That’s when the holiday season gets its kickoff with the Christmas Light Parade and the Little Miss Merry Christmas contest.

The evening begins with music by Steve Davis’ band, Master Works, at 6 p.m. on the south side of the Roosevelt County Courthouse.

At 6:30 p.m. the parade, led by Santa Claus on a fire truck, begins. This year, for the first time, the parade will begin at the Portales Recreation Center parking lot at 18th Street and Avenue I. From there it will proceed east on 18th, north on Avenue D and east again on Second Street. The parade then circles the square to First Street and disbands at the C&S parking lot at First Street and Avenue B.

“We just thought it would make it longer,” Chamber Executive Director Sharon King said. “It will also be easier to organize out at the Recreation Center than it is in the True Value parking lot where they’re trying to do business.”

King said the parade normally has 20 to 25 entries that employ a variety of methods for lighting and decorating the floats and vehicles.

“By being at night and being lit, it just takes on a whole different personality than other parades,” King said.

Once the parade disbands, the festivities continue with more Christmas music on the square and the crowning of Little Miss Merry Christmas.

Six girls between the ages of 4 and 10 are vying for the title this year. Besides giving the girls an opportunity to dress up and be on stage, the contest also raises funds for the Portales Christmas lighting program. The candidate who raises the most money is crowned.

The money is used to buy lights for Portales businesses. The Rotary Club hangs and maintains the lights.

Lindsey Golden, who was Little Miss Merry Christmas in 1992, said she still has her sash and crown. Her 5-year-old daughter, Madison Golden, will be a contestant this year.

“It was like my night to be a princess,” recalls Golden. “When I told her (Madison) I was Little Miss Merry Christmas, she was excited to do it.”

Awards will go to each of the contestants in the pageant. The parades features traveling plaque awards in various categories.

Pageant contestants:

Name: Riley Crista Thompson
Age: 6
Parents: Peter and Micah Thompson
Sponsor: Calton Furniture

Name: Andee Roach
Age: 6
Parents: Billy and Karen Roach
Sponsor: All About Kids

Name: Hannah LeeBeth Stacy
Age: 6
Parents: Billy and Jenenia Stacy
Sponsor: Hong Kong Super Buffet

Name: Megan Lynn Stacy
Age: 7
Parents: Billy and Jenenia Stacy
Sponsor: McCarty’s Cafe

Name: Madison Golden
Age: 5
Parents: Lindsey Golden
Sponsor: Shear Perfection