The Eastern New Mexico News - Serving Clovis, Portales and the Surrounding Communities

Organizers expect bigger-than-ever light parade


November 28, 2018

File photo: Tony Bullocks

Rick and Chickie Henderlite as Santa and Mrs. Claus make a grand entrance at the 2016 Christmas Lights Parade.

CLOVIS - Bundle up, because December kicks off in Clovis with a day of seasonal programming near downtown that culminates in the annual "Christmas Lights" parade down the city's Main Street.

Organizers are looking toward 75 or more float entries for this year's parade, which starts at 6 p.m. Saturday at 14th Street and continues southbound on Clovis' historic brick road toward 2nd Street. That should bring much of the action toward 7th and Main streets in time for a 6:15 p.m. lighting of the big tree outside the Curry County Courthouse.

This year's theme is after the "The Nutcracker," and parade hopefuls still have through Thursday to enter a float competing in one of four categories: walking/marching, automobile, large float and small float.

"We expect it to be bigger than ever," said Clovis MainStreet Executive Director Lisa Pellegrino-Spear, who noted estimates of last year's attendance exceeded 10,000. "Any type of organization can enter, whether it's even just a family or a group organization. It's a $10 minimum donation, and it's a great marketing opportunity for any business and organization to be seen in the community and to celebrate."

Some community and some celebration are the main purposes of the festivities, she added, which marks the "largest parade in the region," and already includes floats from the likes of Melrose, Roswell and Lubbock.

Earlier in the day, merchants downtown will host open houses starting at 10 a.m., Santa will pose for pictures at the new railroad park from 1:30 to 3 p.m., and Mrs. Claus will lead crafts and book reading at the Clovis-Carver Public Library starting at 3:30 p.m.

Organizers meanwhile encourage people to dress warm and come early for a good spot on the parade route. Some churches and businesses are expected to purvey hot cocoa, too, so all in all it should be a proper winter outing for families, individuals, chocolate aficionados and Russian ballet buffs alike.

"It's a great family friendly opportunity for the community to gather together and celebrate the holidays together," Pellegrino-Spear said, encouraging would-be volunteers, sponsors or float entrants to reach out online or at 575-309-8370.

The following week Portales has its own line-up of holiday events, with what is expected to be its 33rd annual Christmas parade starting at 6:30 p.m. Dec. 7 and preceded by a free concert the day before from Eastern New Mexico University's music department. Roosevelt County Chamber of Commerce Executive Director Karl Terry said organizers were hoping to get lights at the courthouse there synchronized with music from a radio station as early as this week.


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