James Williams, right, of the Texico-Farwell Rotary Club, slices one of the 25 briskets the club cooked for its annual barbecue Saturday during Border Town Days in Farwell. CNJ photo by Eric Kluth
By Darrell Todd Maurina
FARWELL — From 30-pound hunks of beef brisket to dainty sugar cookies, food ranked first among attractions mentioned by those attending Saturday’s annual Border Town Days festival in Farwell and Texico.
But the opportunity to mingle with neighbors ranked a close second.
“This is the epitome of small-town USA; this is where the salt of the earth starts,” said Clovis businessman Bobby Jack Stewart, who said he comes each year to Border Town Days to support the local Rotary chapter.
“Some of the finest folks in the United States are right here in this park,” Stewart said. “I want to support the Rotarians, and of course enjoy the barbecue.”
“We’ll probably run 950 to 1,000 people,” said Walter Hughes of the Texico-Farwell Rotary chapter, pointing to 30 hunks of barbecued beef weighing about 750 pounds being kept warm in an outdoor heating unit.
“We picked these up (Friday) afternoon and put them on the fire at 5:30 (Friday) evening and took them off about 10:30 (Saturday) morning,” Hughes said. “It’s more of a service for the community who come here. We charge $6 per person but the net profits are pretty small. We do other things as fund-raisers.”
Other organizations selling food said their sales were significant for their budgets.
Robbie Williams of the Farwell Convalescent Home Auxiliary pointed out fudge bars, cookies, and miniature pecan pies.
“All of the proceeds from this sale go to the nursing home to make things a bit nicer for the residents,” Williams said. “We have had the same spot here (selling next to the Parmer County Courthouse) since I’ve been involved, and that’s at least 20 years.”
While many buy baked goods from the auxiliary because they enjoy the taste, others have deeper motives.
“We have the sweets here to eat after the main meal,” said auxiliary member Liz Kaltwasser. “A lot of people want to just come to help us out to provide things for the nursing home residents.”
Bryan Kube said he rode eight hours from Austin on his Harley-Davidson motorcycle. He said he’s been coming back to Border Town Days every year since 1989, regardless of where he’s been living in Texas.
“I enjoy visiting with friends I don’t see but once a year, and also I enjoy the barbecue,” Kube said.
In recent years, Kube has been asked by event organizers to help with the barbecue preparations and serving — a job he said he relishes despite the hard work.
“It gets pretty warm and it’s lots of long hours,” Kube said. “I wasn’t there overnight this time, but they pretty much stay up all night to cook.”
Other attractions at the event, included class reunions, live music, a parade, and a wide selection of craft exhibitors.
Alan Eubank, a member of Farwell’s Class of 1984, said he enjoyed coming back from Pampa, Texas, after 20 years.
“I still have family here and came back to see people I hadn’t seen for years,” Eubank said.
Eubank’s mother, Lee Nell Eubank, said she comes more often than her son, and enjoys the event each time she comes.
“We come lots of times because it is a fun time for the family,” she said. “There are lots of people we don’t see in Farwell all the time and this gives us a chance to see them.”
As she sat listening to live music, Eubank said she not only enjoys meeting current and former Farwell residents but also hearing area singers perform.