Festivities about to fire up

By David Arkin: CNJ Correspondent

Ooh and aah sounds will echo throughout eastern New Mexico and West Texas this weekend as the region prepares to sparkle in a big way.

From Clovis to Muleshoe, a variety of fireworks displays and all-day festivities are set in honor of the Fourth of July.

The biggest show in the area will be in Clovis.

Things get under way around 5 p.m. Sunday at Greene Acres Park with live bands, food vendors and games for children.

A variety of area musicians are scheduled to perform before the fireworks start at 9 p.m.

Tom Martin, coordinator of the Smoke on the Water fireworks show, said this year’s sparkling performance will be simulcast with music on 99.9 KTQM radio.

“We’re hoping people will bring their radios and listen to the music,” Martin said. “It’s a very interesting effect.”

Martin said for the last two years the radio station has played music that goes along with the fireworks.

“I don’t know how many actually listen to the music, but I do and I think it’s pretty cool and interesting,” Martin said. “I think to myself, how do they choreograph the fireworks to music?

“There is soft music and there are soft fireworks that go along with those and then there is heavy patriotic music and then the real boom, boom fireworks go along with those.”

About 5,000 people are expected to watch the fireworks at the park and about 10,000 people throughout the city will probably see them, Martin said.

“Because the park is located in the middle of town, people can sit in their back yards and on their roofs and watch them,” Martin said.

The fireworks fun started in Clovis on Thursday night after the Tops in Blue concert in Doc Stewart Park.

Here’s a look at other festivities in the area:
• Portales
The city’s annual fireworks display at Eastern New Mexico University near Greyhound Arena will get under way around 9 p.m., Sunday, officials with the Roosevelt County Chamber of Commerce said.
Thousands are expected to attend.

• Melrose
The annual fireworks show in Melrose will include a cookout a few hours before the fireworks display.
The cookout will be held on the Melrose High School grounds.
A fireworks display will be held there later that night.
• Fort Sumner
At Sumner Lake, a concert that will start around 7 and feature area talent will conclude with a fireworks show.
Fireworks are expected to get under way between 8:30 p.m. and 9 p.m.
• Muleshoe
Festivities in Muleshoe won’t be held on the Fourth of July, but the chamber of commerce there is still expecting a large turnout.
Muleshoe’s day of fireworks fun will be held on Saturday and a variety of events are set, said Jan Thompson, Muleshoe Chamber of Commerce director.
A parade, which gets under way at 10 a.m. (CDT), will start on Main Street.
Arts and crafts will be featured from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. (CDT) at the Civic Center and from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. (CDT) the band Double D Phantom will perform.
People will begin gathering around 8 p.m. (CDT) at the city park for the fireworks show.
Thompson said she anticipated 200 to 300 people would attend the festivities.
“We normally get a real good crowd out there,” she said. “It’s a real community event.”