Home News Local News 96th Eastern New Mexico State Fair underway in Roswell

96th Eastern New Mexico State Fair underway in Roswell

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The Eastern New Mexico State Fair Parade allowed area civic groups to promote themselves and their members, such as the Girl Scouts of the Desert Southwest Troop 18021. Members waved at parade watchers from the back of a pickup truck. (Alex Ross Photo)

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People packed downtown Roswell early Monday morning for the Eastern New Mexico State Fair.

Spectators old and young already lined the stretch of North Main Street that ran from College Boulevard to Summit Street — the route of the parade. Older spectators with folding chairs and their children who sat on the curb poised to get the candy scattered by parade participants.

This year New Mexico Gov. Susana Martinez, the parade’s grand marshal, was among those taking part in the parade.

On the New Mexico Military Institute campus, uniformed cadets stood in the parking lot in their uniforms and holding their rifles.

Felicia Conde was one of the many parade participants in the parking lot of the Wool Bowl on North Grande Street. A member of Forgotten to Forever Rescue and Transport, a local group that rescues animals from high kill shelters, Conde was rushing to put the finishing touches on a sign.

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“I am trying to get the last one together if I can get it done,” she said.

For Conde and other locals, the parade is a time-honored tradition. Many businesses and schools close to allow their employees and students alike to take part or watch the parade.

“It’s always just been a really great tradition,” Conde said. “It’s just a good way to show what we have as a community.”

The parade also marks the kick-off of the Eastern New Mexico State Fair, one of the largest fairs in the state.

Although the parade’s official start was on Main Street many marchers and floats and vehicles were lined up on North Grande Street about an hour before the parade.

This year more than 100 floats were entered into the parade by police and fire departments, political campaigns, area businesses, local non-profit and civic organizations, schools and churches from Roswell and other communities.

For many, taking part in the parade is an annual tradition.

The Roswell Chamber of Commerce Redcoats, a group that functions as the Chamber Ambassadors, also had their own float. The float consisted of a metal base trailer enveloped in green mesh. Some members were dressed in camouflage fatigues and others in their organization’s trademark red coats, with an American flag propped up in the middle of the float. The float was meant to represent this year’s parade theme, inspired by the fact that this November will mark 100 years since the end of the First World War.

“We are all decked out in our red, white and blue, and proud of our country and our military, our police officers, fire fighters and everybody who serves,” Todd Hobbit Verciglio, marketing and social media director for the Chamber of Commerce, said.

Pamela O’Neil of Roswell Head Start stood alongside employees at her group’s float. The float was on a flatbed trailer dressed in red, white and blue banners with a small plastic house on it. Two sets of milk crates with red and blue construction paper were meant to represent alphabet blocks.

O’Neil said the Head Start Float was designed to honor veterans who have served their country, but also to educate the public about the early childhood programs Head Start offers. She added that the float was the culmination of a great deal of work and suggestions.

“We all pitched in a little bit of input on how to build this,” she said.

Breaking news reporter Alex Ross can be reached at 575-622-7710, ext. 301, or at breakingnews@rdrnews.com.