City will celebrate 100th anniversary of incorportation

By Eric Butler: PNT staff writer

Portales was officially incorporated as a city in 1909.

Next Tuesday, the current townspeople will celebrate the 100th anniversary of that event with a street fair featuring old and new traditions.

A Centennial Street Fair will bring out musicians, food vendors, belly dancers, karate demonstrations, dunk tanks and even fire dancers from two aptly-named groups, Prometheus Productions and Pyrodesiacs.

“Until about seven or eight o’clock, they’re going to be ribbon-dancing using poi balls. When it gets darker they’re going to light the poi,” said Michele Robertson, manager of Hestands Floral, one of the chief organizers.

“They’re going to be on 3rd Street, just off of Main. As a safety precaution, we’re going to give them their own half-block area.”

The fair will take place from 6 p.m. to 9 p.m. on Main Street in Portales, between 2nd and 4th. It begins with a raising the newly-designed Centennial Flag.

The city council meeting has been moved up two hours, to 5 p.m.

But political figures over the 100-year history of the town will still have their place in the main celebration, too.

A recently-made plaque with the names of all 27 mayors in Portales’ history will be publicly unveiled and the first ordinance in city history will be read aloud to mark the occasion.

The event takes place during a time of year when Portales traditionally celebrates its annual Heritage Days. That’s one reason the fair will be taking place on a weeknight.

“A lot of it is because the weekend is so booked with Heritage Days and we wanted to have a separate celebration for the city’s centennial,” Robertson said.

The three mayors in Portales history who are still living — Don Davis, Donald Shafer and current Mayor Orlando Ortega — have been invited.

“It’s really going to be a lot of fun and we’re highly focused on family-oriented activities,” said Nicole Wilkening, community affairs coordinator for the city. “It’s for everybody to just come down and relax.”

Food choices at the event includes Frito pie from the Catholic Daughters and meat entrees from J4 Barbecue.

“They’ll have to pay for their food and anything else they want to buy from a vendor, but all the entertainment is free,” Robertson said.