A few years after Maurice Smith graduated from Farwell High School, some people from his Texas town and the neighboring New Mexico town of Texico decided they'd have a weekend get-together.
Smith, a 1962 graduate of FHS, skipped a few of the small gatherings in his early years, as he was active in softball tournaments. He's moved on from softball, but Saturday showed plenty of evidence the towns haven't moved away from their neighborly event.
"It's just a get-together, see people you haven't seen in a while," Smith said, after finishing a hamburger and talking to some of the 50-plus people he'd briefly caught up with so far that morning. "I like it."
Hundreds filled Farwell's City Park Saturday, following a parade that, thanks to dozens of entrants and a time zone change at the Texas-New Mexico border, started at about 10 a.m. in Texico and ended just before noon in Farwell.
"The parade wasn't the biggest we've had, but it was really close," said Mike Pomper, chairman of the Border Town Days committee. "However, it was the biggest bike competition we've had. We had a ton of kids dress up their bikes."
Groups formed and disbanded to become other groups throughout the event, with topics ranging from ongoing rock-paper-scissors games to how college educations, careers and family were doing.
The event was enjoyable for some out-of-towners as well. Lindsey Brown and Mark Rothschild were visiting family in Bovina, and Rothschild had a cousin with the Farwell cheerleading squad — which was selling FHS flip-flops among its many fundraising activities.
"We're having a lot of fun, this is great," Rothschild said.
Brown said the crowd size was impressive, as was the general mood that it wasn't a forced event.
"I really notice all of the people," Brown said. "It seems very friendly around here."
Pomper said that while the occasional out-of-town resident will make their way in, the population is 90 to 95 percent current and former residents of the border towns that sit down in the park, talk to each other, play some games and maybe have a meal. All food sold at the event, Pomper said, goes to a local non-profit organization.
When asked what her favorite part of the day was, Texico freshman-to-be Sierra Oliveira said, "It's being able to see everyone, being with your family and your friends."