Revamped downtown could benefit city

Karl Terry

It happened downtown.

That’s a line Portales MainStreet folks are hoping we’ll all hear a lot more often in the future. The passion this group of citizens displays toward the vitality of our city is likely going to make it happen too.

As evidence, take the third Summer Wine Festival that filled the Ice House on Friday night. The crowd was there to participate in something that might sound a little snooty to Portalesanos — a wine tasting. Instead it was done with our own comfortable style and no one felt out of place that I could see.

Organizers of the festival said while the event raised some needed funds for the variety of projects the group takes on, the real purpose was to build community stock in what they’re doing and instill optimism in the local business scene.

They did that with a wall full of artist’s renderings of what will happen in the near future, including the courthouse streetscape project that should get under way in the next month and the renovation of the Yam Theater, which should start this fall as well.

The building where the festival is held itself is evidence of a rebirth. Gaylon Bobo has been gradually restoring the historic Ice House alongside the railroad tracks downtown and hopes to have a venue for smaller gatherings and stage presentations in the future.

A Portales High School classmate of mine, Danny Woodward, is