Home News Local News ENMMC’s float wins grand champion award

ENMMC’s float wins grand champion award

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Marchers with the float representing Eastern New Mexico Medical Center head down Main Street Monday during this year’s Eastern New Mexico State Fair. The float won the grand prize in this year’s parade. (Alex Ross Photo)

The Eastern New Mexico State Fair’s (ENMSF) 97th annual parade’s theme, ‘Our Roots Run Deep and True,’ was interpreted through float decorations and song and dance performances celebrating Roswell’s cultural and economic roots.

Así se Baila Ballet Folklorico’s float won the ‘spirit award’ at the Eastern New Mexico State Fair’s 97th annual parade on Monday morning. Pictured are characters from the 2017 Disney-Pixar film ‘Coco’ — Héctor Rivera, center, dancing with Miguel, playing guitar, right — and Folklorico dancers. (Alison Penn Photo)

More than 75 floats, many with live or handmade trees and roots, traveled from the staging area at the Wool Bowl on North Grand Avenue to College Boulevard then Southeast Main Street, and on to the ENMSF fairgrounds at 2500 Southeast Main St. Soft cloud cover maintained a constant barrier against the desert sun during the entire parade, where families lined the streets cheering and waiving to those on floats or walking, on Monday from 10 a.m. to noon.

Adriann Ragsdale, parade superintendent, said this year’s parade went smoothly and she was impressed with the “effort and energy” put into the floats’ decorations and the parade itself. Ragsdale said she appreciated the audience’s and participants’ patience for Monday’s event. She also said the extra effort to slow down — at the staging area and beyond — made this year’s event safe.

Parade winners were announced on ENSF’s Facebook page on Monday evening. Trophies

A fire truck travels down Main Street Monday with the jacket of Jeff Stroble, the honorary grand marshal in this year’s Eastern New Mexico State Fair Parade. Stroble, a fire apparatus operator for the Roswell Fire Department, died in July from injuries sustained in a June 5 fireworks explosion. (Alex Ross Photo)

will be given out at 6:30 p.m. on Wednesday, according to Trish Lair, ENMSF fair manager.

Eastern New Mexico Medical Center was awarded as the parade’s grand champion, with their themed float and line dance.

Winning the spirit award, Así se Baila Ballet Folklorico featured the 2017 Disney-Pixar film ‘Coco’ with Día de los Muertos — Day of the Dead — masks or face paint and paper flowers.

A newcomer to the parade, Classical Conversations, won the judges’ award for their float with students dressed as pharaohs, princesses, knights and more while signing. (Alison Penn Photo)

Even a couple of characters from the movie made an appearance, such as Mamá Coco on the float and Miguel Rivera, who strummed his guitar alongside the float with Héctor Rivera and Folklorico dancers behind him.

Classical Conversations of SNM, a local group representing Christian education resources for homeschoolers, won the judges’ award with kids dressed as pharaohs, princesses, knights and more while signing. Ragsdale said she was encouraged to have new participants in the parade, such as Classical Conversations.

Roswell Daily Record employees volunteered their time to create an original float for this year’s Eastern New Mexico State Fair Parade that took place on Monday. The printer on the float was nicknamed Baby Blue, after the original newspaper press, which the press staff nicknamed Big Blue. Baby Blue was made just for the fair. Additionally there was a news desk with an antique typewriter and accessories, and a newsstand. The volunteers were dressed like newsies (kids who delivered newspapers) and one reporter. To get everybody assembled, you could hear someone shouting, “Deadline, deadline — don’t miss the deadline!” The Daily Record’s float won in the ‘commercial’ category. (Christina Stock Photo)

Local law enforcement agencies kicked off the parade with a Roswell Fire Department ladder truck displaying the bunker gear of Jeff Stroble, a fallen RFD driver who was injured in an explosion on June 5 and passed away on July 21.

Reba Stroble, widow of the deceased firefighter, confirmed with the Daily Record on Sunday that she and some of her family members would ride in the truck during the parade.

“… I think a lot of people were very moved by the tribute and we’re very pleased to see the family participating,” Ragsdale said of the feedback from honoring Stroble.

Ragsdale said having the “musical talent” of Dexter High School, Roswell High School, Goddard High School and four middle schools was “exciting.”

Susana Gonzalez, left, won this year’s Best of the Southwest Green Chile Stew Award, which is sponsored by the Roswell Daily Record, at the Piñata and Chile Cheese Festival on Saturday. The judges awarded her stew 155 points. Gonzalez is the owner of the El Chupacabra Food Truck. Second place went to Monica Gallagher, with 148 points. (Christina Stock Photo)

“… I enjoyed the fact that it’s really a family event and it’s something that the kids and I and other people can come and enjoy it, sit back,” Fabian Campolla, a parade watcher, said. “My favorite part about it was the band as well, but mine was the Roswell High Band and that’s simply because it seemed as though they had more of a variety of music in theirs and they were actually flowing very well. Their rhythm was good.”

Roswell High School’s dance team, Charlie’s Angels, cheer team and band were all recognized as winners by the judges. Sierra Middle School’s cheer team and Mesa Middle School’s band were also awardees.

Carousel Learning Center won the youth organization award and New Mexico Military Institute’s ‘India’ troop was recognized. Roswell Shrine Alien Patrol, Roswell Youth Football League and Cheer Lady Devils, Friends of Roswell Animals and the Roswell Daily Record were also award winners.

Pictured from left are Ooy Allen of Kik’s Thai Food Truck and Molly Boyles with MainStreet Roswell. This year, the Best of the Southwest Green Chile Stew Contest at the Piñata and Chile Cheese Festival on Saturday had a new award. MainStreet Roswell gave out the Green Chile Stew Table Captain Choice Award, which went to Allen for her unusual recipe for green chile stew fusing southwest flavors with Thai ingredients. Third place went to Maribel Ochoa, Laura’s Cafe; second place went to Monica Gallagher; and first went to Susana Gonzalez, El Chupacabra Food Truck. The winners received prizes including money, movie tickets from Allen Theaters and chile from Graves Farm & Garden. (Christina Stock Photo)

“I think it gets better every year,” Addyson Campbelo, a Mountain View Middle School student, said of the parade.

Evelyn Gomez, another Mountain View Middle student, recognized Church on the Move’s “amazing job” with its double-decker treehouse float with mascots and singing and dancing ‘kids on the move.’ Gomez said she enjoyed the bands and the cadets’ presentations the most.

“It just shows that it’s a tight community and we’re blessed to live here,” Roswell local Jim Cassidy said of the parade, and recognized it is an important annual event for the community.

Special projects reporter Alison Penn can be reached at 575-622-7710, ext. 205, or at reporter04@rdrnews.com. Breaking news reporter Alex Ross contributed to this report.

For more photos from the parade on Monday morning, click here.