Christmas Jubilee to light up Portales

Christmas lights, candy, music and shopping.

The 24th annual Christmas Jubilee is bringing all of that to downtown Portales Friday.

The family event includes a lighted Christmas parade, live music by MasterWorks and extended hours for some downtown businesses. The Roosevelt County Chamber of Commerce is organizing the event.

“This is a holiday tradition for the city of Portales,” said chamber Promotions Coordinator Joseph Sanders. “It’s a great way to celebrate the season, and enjoy the Christmas lights, and see the small town rally together for the holiday season. It’s darn fun.”

The parade involves free candy, too, he said.

As of Wednesday afternoon, Sanders said 36 floats were signed up for the parade, and people kept coming in to register. He expected to have at least 40 floats in the final count, and said people were welcome to join the parade up to 6 p.m. Friday.

Portales Relay for Life team recruiter Samantha Garcia is one Portales resident preparing for the parade. She and other volunteers plan to build a Relay for Life float with giant luminarias reading “hope,” “celebrate” and “fight back.”

Garcia said she entered the parade to promote the cancer research fundraiser.

“It would be a good opportunity to get some more publicity and see if we can get some more teams out there,” she said.

The parade is set to start at Portales Recreation Center, travel down 18th Street to Avenue D, continue to Second Street and head down Second to go around the Square and stop at C&S. Sanders said the floats would be available for public viewing in the C&S parking lot for a short time after the parade.

Judges are to pick the best floats in non-profit, business and church categories, Sanders said. Individuals fall into the non-profit category.

“They get bragging rights,” Sanders said of the winners, “but there is also a plaque.”

In each category, the winner’s name goes on a traveling plaque that organization gets to keep for the coming year.

Also, this year’s Little Miss Merry Christmas and her court are expected to ride in the parade. The winner of the girls fundraising contest is scheduled to be announced and crowned today.

Portales MainStreet Manager Nicole Thornton said she hopes downtown stores will stay open late for holiday shoppers. She said hours would vary among stores.

“It’s a free family activity centered around the holiday spirit,” Thornton said of the Jubilee.