Last-minute preparations for Moriarty’s celebration of Route 66, this year coupled with the high school’s homecoming game and the Pinto Bean Fiesta dominated the city council meeting this week.

The biggest topic of conversation at the meeting was the preparation and beautification of the town and rodeo arena for this weekend’s celebrations.

“City staff has been volunteering their time on top of their regular hours for this,” said city clerk Sheila Murphy. “We’re gonna kick over an anthill!”

Moriarty is going all out this weekend for Pinto Bean Days, in conjunction with Homecoming week at Moriarty High School and the Moriarty “Sixty-Six on 66” birthday celebration.” 

Murphy said festivities will begin Friday evening, with the homecoming football game against Hot Springs at 7 p.m. A total of 15 events span the weekend, across the city. 

The Moriarty Lions Club is holding a pancake breakfast Saturday morning from 7 to 11 a.m. The United Metro Relay for Life of New Mexico and the American Cancer Society are holding the Mother Road Run, a 6.6-mile run in honor of Route 66’s 66thbirthday in New Mexico. Opening ceremonies are at 6:30 a.m. and the run begins at 7. 

The parade will line up just west of Tillery Chevrolet for 9 a.m., and head east on Route 66, ending at Crossley Park. The Pinto Bean Festival kicks off at the City Park on Broadway. Registration for the horseshoe tournament begins at noon, and the hot dog eating contest starts at 2 p.m.

At the Moriarty Civic Center, oral histories are being taken by the Moriarty Historical Society and Museum under the “Cuentos de los Abuelitos” project. 

The Moriarty High School Performing Arts Center is hosting the New Mexico Route 66 Film Festival on Saturday, beginning at 1 p.m. The top submission will win $500. 

The Crossroads Ranch and Rodeo Company and Mountain West Rodeo Association are teaming up at the Moriarty Rodeo Grounds for the 2019 Route 66 Rodeo, at 1 p.m. and 7 p.m. 

“Public Works has been working really hard to get [the rodeo grounds] ready,” Murphy said.

A Family Picnic in the Field at Schwebach Farm hosts storytelling at 4 p.m. and a melodrama from 5 p.m. to 7 p.m. Saturday, at 807 W Martinez Road. Admission for adults is $12, and children 12 and under are $8. 

On Sunday the 29th, the Moriarty Municipal Airport is hosting an open house from 11 to 3 and offering glider rides, along with speaker Col. Bob Hudson on “The Girls of Otto” at 11:30 a.m. and 1:30 p.m.

At 4 p.m. on the 29that Moriarty High School’s Performing Arts Center, the New Mexico Peace Choir is offering a free performance at 4 p.m. VIP tickets are also available. The concert is the farewell performance for its director, Christy Conduff, who spent 30 years as a music teacher in the Moriarty-Edgewood and Estancia school districts. 

Moriarty Motocross just west of Moriarty is holding a race on Sunday, with practice on Saturday from 10 to 3. $20 per rider, spectators free on Saturday. Race day gate fees are $10 per person, age 5 and under are free.

This celebration, 66 years in the making, is to the credit of the city employees, Murphy said. 

In other business, the council approved the purchase of three small bars, carts on wheels, to be used at Civic Center functions where alcohol sales are appropriate. Each bar is 54 inches long and can accommodate two bartenders and a point of sale. 

Murphy said the city will offer alcohol to events that book the Civic Center where alcohol is appropriate, such as weddings or meetings.

A representative from NCA Architects brought a concept design for the city’s new fire station, and the council approved the expenditure to continue the design with that company. 

The council also voted to repair a the tractor that pulls the town’s mower, which has been out of service for a month, according to Jeff Tapia of public works. 

Leota Harriman
Leota Harriman

Leota started working for The Independent in 2006, working her way up through the ranks. An employee buyout in 2010 led to her ownership of the newspaper. Leota has served on the board of the N.M. Press Association, and is currently its First Vice President. She is passionate about health and wellness, especially mental health, and loves making art. She can be reached at news.ind.editor@gmail.com.