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Take time to enjoy the fair


Copyright © 2021 Roswell Daily Record

After 95 years, the Eastern New Mexico State Fair is still going strong. A lot has changed since that first fair in 1922, but the fun and the chance to connect with folks we know but don’t see often are timeless.

Today is Seniors’ Day at the fair. Admission and parking is free for everyone 55 years and older.

Friday is Children’s Day. The fair will host schools, child care facilities and other organizations that work with young children.

The Commercial Building, always bustling with men, women and children carrying bags advertising one of the vendors, filled with goodies from the other vendor booths, still houses both major political parties ready to register voters and talk about their candidates or philosophies. There are raffles all over the building for guns, vehicles and assorted other goods.

The Education Building still has the Pecos Valley Model Railroad that has been displayed for decades by the Pecos Valley Society of Model Trainsmen. With the theater seats mounted outside the booth windows, it’s a great place for mom and dad to rest while the kids run off all the energy they’ve been building up in anticipation of the day.

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A few of the schools from Roswell Independent School District have displays set up. The two with the greatest variety and amount of submissions are from the high schools. Roswell High School has some well done tile mosaic work and one wall is lined with different images of Charlie Coyote.

Goddard High School has digital art and photography. There is a bit of a patriotic bend to their display. It has a picture of Abraham Lincoln with the quote, “I like to see a man proud of the place in which he lives. I like to see a man live so that his place will be proud of him.” They also have a rendering of the Preamble to the United States Constitution.

The Roswell Public Library has a window display with a variety of posters. From a promo for an author’s talk on Oct. 21 to another promoting an after-school literacy station. October and November calendars are posted there. Between the Lines adult coloring is being promoted. There is a class that promises to teach teens to make their own fidget spinners. They also have a poster promoting their partnership with Excel Energy to make power check meters available.

The New Mexico Autism Society has its booth set up with a sensory station to give people some idea of what autistic people have to deal with all the time.

Rio Pecos Kennel Club is represented with information available on therapy dogs, the dog show and hurricane relief efforts on animals being rescued.

Working Mother’s Day Nursery, both Roswell and New Mexico Senior Olympics, Altrusa and the Assisteens from the Assistance League had engaging and informative displays.

There were a variety of extension clubs. The Quilt Squad Extension Club displayed some lovely varieties of quilting. Zia Extension Club has herbs and spices they’re growing on display. Misslamo Extension Club offers information on stress management and resiliency training. Make-it Take-it Extension Club focuses on upcycling, the practice of finding new uses for old items. Valley Amigas Extension Club has Yoga information. I-Can shares their passion for safe food preservation.

The Chaves County Coop Extension has its display called “From field to family” explaining dairy, corn and other ag products and how they cycle through nature and our economy.

The Chaves County Master Gardeners has a plaque on display explaining “tree rings can show an abundance of water or drought conditions, crowding from neighbor trees, fire scars, insect plagues and more.”

The pumpkin competition is as varied and the pumpkins are as gargantuan as we’ve come to expect.

The Historical Society for Southeastern New Mexico has a rich display with an overview of our history from Robert H. Goddard in the 20s, the dustbowl of the 30s, the German POWs and alien crash of the 40s, Little League World Championship in the 50s, Walker Air Force Base closing in the 60s, the historical museum opening in the 70s, TMC/NOVA BUS opening in the 80s, old-timers balloon rally in the 90s, to the Chile Cheese/Alien Festival in the 2000s.

The New Mexico Department of Health is displaying 95 years of WIC nutrition including promotional photographs from throughout the 20th century, along with a telephone number and the website nmhealth.org.

For The Assurance Home, “A place called home” is displaying the magazine story about its mustang project. The Roswell Recreation Center and Roswell Adult Center blend as seamlessly in their fair display as they do in their every day cooperation. Located at 807 N. Missouri Ave. they offer a variety of opportunities.

Friends of the Roswell Zoo have pictures of new animals, talk of a new direction, new exhibits, membership information and promoting that they can help with animal and biology questions.

Walker Aviation Museum from 1 Jerry Smith Circle has photos from the busier times on the old base.

Tobosa Developmental Services has a piñata and art work, their status mission is “to assist individuals and families challenged by developmental disabilities. We help discover their unique gifts as they work towards fulfilling their life goals and dreams.”

Family resource and referral after-school program is displaying its games, sports equipment, art supplies and building blocks of various types. The walls are lined with art and creations of many kids.

ENMU-R adult education has information about free tutoring, getting a GED and ESL classes as well as reading and writing courses.

The Miniatures and Collections Museum has a beautiful display consisting of a carousel, an alien buying a ticket to the carousel, and people enjoying themselves at the fair.

A touch of history on display includes the Chaves County Cotton Festival in 1922 and the establishment of Berrendo 4-H in 1949, which is the oldest club in the state.

Other sites at the fair include Denim and Dust, 4-H displays LPs from Mario Lanza, Glen Campbell, George Beverly Shea, Mantovani, and Anne Murray among many other top-name musicians of the past.

There is more to see in the Education Building, so be sure to give yourself plenty of time.

While you’re there, don’t forget the Arts and Crafts Building, the Poultry Barn, the Rabbit Barn and other larger animal displays.

Features reporter Curtis M. Michaels can be reached at 575-622-7710, ext. 205, or at reporter04@rdrnews.com.

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