Coordinator hoping for growth with Elida’s Christmas on the Square

Alisa Boswell

Elida’s Christmas on the Square event will be held for the second year on Dec. 3.

Michelle Ward, owner of The Little Things in Elida and the main coordinator for the event, said the first year was successful with visitors from not only Roosevelt County but also from Clovis, Muleshoe and Roswell.

“A lot of people enjoyed it and they were glad that we had started something new in the community and people from out of town said they thought it was a great thing for families,” Ward said. “We had people off trucks and in cars stop last year just to see what was going on. A lot of people who came from out of town last year have talked to me and said they are coming back this year.”

She said along with the businesses being open on the square, there will be music, hay rides, food and Santa, just as last year, with the edition of more local vendors selling decorative crosses, cowhide products, bows and more.

“I have advertised more. We’ve had banners made and passed it around on Facebook and it’s been advertised on the marquee at Taco Box,” Ward said. “Last year, we didn’t get any of that accomplished. This year, I went to the Peanut Valley Festival in Portales and a holiday festival in Clovis and a lot of vendors from both showed interest in coming, so we may have even more.”

Ward said last year, she had only two weeks of planning and preparations after having the idea spontaneously.

“For me, the turnout and the support from the community and the surrounding communities was the best part,” Ward said. “They were just so grateful that someone had taken the time to do something for them, and I think that was it for me.”

“I think it was a wonderful success,” said Debrah Smith, owner of the Branding Iron Cafe and another event coordinator. “We were so busy. We were in shock.”

Smith, who has spent the last year painting buildings in the square, said she plans to paint even more next summer.

“Michelle and I just love old things. We’ve had more fun bringing the old antique buildings back to life,” Smith said. “Now all the buildings have different colors and have some life to them now. I see people stop and take pictures of them. I think it’s helped Elida. People know about us now whereas before, they didn’t even know we existed.”

Ward and Smith are hopeful this year will be even more successful.

“I think what strikes people is they can give custom made gifts, so people have really jumped on board and that’s been fun for me.” Ward said. “I would like to say that it will be even better than last year.”