The rules of blogging are clear. You are NEVER to apologize to your readers for being absent. But honestly, folks, I’m feeling extremely contrite about how long it’s taken me to get a blog post put together. So I have to apologize. And then I have to explain why I’m so harried and short on time right this minute.
If you’ve ever lived in a small town and served as a volunteer, you might have some understanding of my current dilemma. I’m a member of the Board of Directors of the Logan Ute Lake Chamber of Commerce, and we’re working diligently to bring back the 4th of July celebrations from years past. Revitalizing, we call it in our finer moments.
Craziness is what we call it when we’re frazzled from meetings and planning sessions and phone calls with potential sponsors and trips to Sam’s (only 110 miles away) to pick up supplies and e-mails with graphic artists who are designing our promotional materials. . .well, you get the picture.
In 1973, a group of very energetic Loganites decided it would serve the Village well to start the process of being named one of New Mexico’s Bicentennial locations. Thus began our long history of 4th of July celebrations. In the early days, there were Bicentennial banquets where we all participated in a musical play depicting “Our American Heritage in New Mexico.” I was 12 in 1973, and I have great memories of weeks of practice in the old gym at Logan High.
The entire community participated (I’ve often wondered how we had any spectators since we were all actors or musicians), the Fireside Inn catered (and how did that work? My parents owned the restaurant but they were also involved in the play. . ), and Quay County turned out in force to watch the railroad come to town in 1901, the pony express rider bring the mail, the wild west being tamed, all on the stage of the high school gymnasium. Dee Lansford stretched butcher paper around the room and painted a mural of the history of man for decoration. The entire production was quite elaborate. It was amazing, now that I think of it.
And along with the banquet/play each year, Logan also started a mammoth 4th of July celebration. There was a Bicentennial queen contest (amazingly, I one that pageant once), a parade, a street dance in front of McFarland Bros. Bank, fireworks, and a free bean feed out at the lake. Every year. It was what we became known for. “What’s your plan for the 4th?” someone would ask, and the response was always, “Well, we have to spend it in Logan. . .”
Some of that activity fell by the wayside in the past several years. It’s a hard tradition to keep up, especially in a town of less then 1,100. You eventually run out of bodies who are willing to do the work over and over and over.
But this year it’s back! We’re starting with a Street Dance on July 6 at 7:30 p.m. in front of Logan School, with Kene Terry and Friends opening for Logan Taylor and the Thunderbirds.
On July 7, 2012, there’s a parade at 10:00 a.m., free bbq and bean feed at 4:00 p.m. at the Ute Lake State Park entrance, and fireworks at dark at Windy Point.
Sounds pretty simple, right? I mean, it’s not like we’re doing a banquet with a play, or a mural depicting our history, or a queen pageant. But what we are doing is organizing the event, and purchasing 1,200 pounds of brisket and 200 pounds of beans, getting entries for the parade, publicizing it all, talking it up on the radio, and of course, selling raffle tickets.
Did I mention the raffle tickets? It’s our major fundraiser, and it’s a Chamber tradition that has definitely fallen by the wayside until this year. The year a $25 ticket will get you a chance to win your choice of a 2012 Harley, 2012 Voyager pontoon, 2012 Nighthawk 4 X 4 UTV, or $10,000. May I please send you a ticket or two?
So, I’ve been a bit absent from blogging about why I love New Mexico. I’ve been too busy demonstrating how much I love my hometown by getting in the trenches and working on what we hope will be the biggest 4th of July celebration since 1976.
Someone in Logan has been doing this for 39 years. It’s fun to be part of a New Mexico tradition. Maybe I’ll see you at the street dance? Save a waltz for me!Pin It