Santa comes to town

Julie Rooney corrals her four children at the Portales Christmas parade on Friday evening (Freedom Newspapers: Andy DeLisle)

By Helena Rodriguez: Local columnist

The Grinch didn’t exactly steal Christmas, but he did help Borden Peanuts capture the best business float award during the annual Christmas parade Friday night in Portales.

The giant trailer-turned-sleigh featured the Grinch of Dr. Seuss fame and 30 Borden employees and their families who threw candy while their mascot handed out bags of peanuts.

With everything from John Deere tractors to Christmas-lighted Jeep vehicles and even a festive forklift included, hundreds of Roosevelt County residents watched the 18 lighted entries roll down South Avenue D to the annual Christmas Jubilee at the Roosevelt County Courthouse. The jubilee featured Christmas caroling and the crowning of 5-year-old Abby Brown as Little Miss Merry Christmas 2006.

Abby beat out four other contestants by raising $2,475 for the city’s Christmas lights fund.

“We sold lots of cookies, popcorn balls and fudge to raise money,” said Abby’s mother, Shawna Brown, who works at Portales National Bank. “We got a lot of help from our family and the bank.”

All together, the Little Miss Merry Christmas contestants raised more than $4,600.

An avid parade-goer, Debbie Stidham said the annual Christmas parade helps her get into the Christmas spirit.

“It makes me feel like a kid again, and the weather is not too bad,” Stidham said. Temperatures were in the low 30s on Friday night, not as cold as during previous Christmas parades.

Stidham came especially to see her niece, Kaylee Smith, who rode on the Floyd Municipal Schools float.

Other parade winners included Habitat for Humanity as best float by a nonprofit organization and First Presbyterian Church as best float by a church.

The 30-minute parade ended with a round of car honking for the grand marshal, Santa Claus, who made his arrival in Roosevelt County in back of a fire truck.