By Clarence Plank: PNT staff writer
The Little Miss Merry Christmas contest is searching for contestants before the cut off date Monday.
Right now, five girls are in the running for the spot. Roosevelt Chamber of Commerce Manager Mandi Park said people can call her or come by the chamber to fill out registration forms to enter.
“They have to be registered by next Monday, Nov. 16 and be able to ride on the parade on Dec. 11,” Park said. “Contestants compete for the title where they reign for one year and ride in some parades.”
The contest is for girls 4 to 10 years old.
The chamber is also taking float entries for the Christmas Light Parade. The only exclusion on floats: No live Santa Claus. That’s a job held exclusively by the Santa Claus riding on a city fire engine, said Park.
The reigning Little Miss rides in the lead car during the Christmas Light Parade on Dec. 11. The other contestants ride in the cars behind her.
The new Little Miss Merry Christmas is crowned after the parade.
“The reigning Little Miss is the grand marshal of the parades,” Park said. “She rides in the Homecoming, Heritage Days parades and anything else during the year.”
Little Miss Merry Christmas contestants must raise money. Each contestant has a sponsor that has a jar set up for her at their business.
“They raise money by penny votes,” Park said. “The little girl with the most money wins the title. This year we are going to be adding decorations to the courthouse since the remodeling is now finished.”
The money goes to the Portales Rotary Club to maintain the Christmas lights around town.
Crystal Carbajal, 21, is Park’s niece and a former Little Miss Merry Christmas.
Carbajal said she doesn’t remember much of the details about being involved with Little Miss Merry Christmas, but she thinks it is awesome that her daughter Nevaeh, 4, is able to participate in the contest.
“She is apart of something that I was part of,” Carbajal said. “I have another daughter and hopefully she can take part in it, too. I want to do it for as long as she wants to, if she likes it.”
One of the contestants Christina Clark, 7, is currently looking for a sponsor for this year’s contest. Clark’s aunt, Jenenia Stacy, said this year it has been harder than usual to find a sponsor.
“We had a lot of people tells us they would call us back, but they never did,” Stacy said. “My two nieces are running and as of Thursday night, Christina Clark doesn’t have a sponsor.”