The New Mexico Department of Tourism will hold a day of festivities at the Glenrio Visitor Information Center off Interstate 40, exit 373, 42 miles east of Tucumcari on May 14.
Representatives from area parks and businesses will be on hand with free brochures and information. Also free food such as chips and salsa, donuts and cookies will be offered to travelers stopping at the welcome center. Kathi Sherwood of the Department of Tourism said that over 300,000 people sign in at the welcome center each year. “That is a huge amount of people to stop at a visitor center,” said Sherwood. “The visitor center near the Texas border sees more visitors than any other visitor center in New Mexico. We get about 500 people a day signing in at that visitor center.”
Sherwood said that representatives from over 30 Tucumcari businesses will be at the visitor center offering information about their businesses. Some of the businesses will be offering door prizes throughout the day to lucky travelers.
Mike Callens, owner of Tee Pee Curios on East Tucumcari Boulevard, is supplying Route 66 back packs and shoulder packs to be offered as door prizes at the event. “The tourism department is offering a goodwill gesture that will benefit all of us, “ said Callens. “The visitors are pleasantly surprised when the tourism people bestow gifts on them at the rest stop.”
Nita Curry of Sundowner Gallery on First Street will be donating two western-style mugs from her shop.
“In the past I’ve helped get refreshments for the event,” said Curry. “The tourists are really excited about the gifts.”
Tina McCoy, supervisor of the visitor center, said the tourists will be in for a surprise. “In the past, the tourists have been in shock to be receiving gifts,” said McCoy. “It’s our day to spoil the tourists.”
McCoy also noted the positive impact the event will have on San Jon and Tucumcari. “With all the booths set up, Tucumcari and San Jon will be spotlighted all day,” she said. “Most other states don’t have events like this at their visitor centers.” The event will run from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m.