Neon, that electrifiable gas that has become a symbol of Route 66 has also become the theme of the 2004 Rattler Reunion, “Neon Nights.”
In fact, the 2004 Rattler Reunion is Thursday, Friday and Saturday, Aug. 5, 6, and 7 and according to Tucumcari City Manager Richard Primrose, who is, along with Quay County Manager Terry Turner, riding in the lead car in the Rattler Reunion Parade Saturday at 10 a.m. is a great time.
“I think it is a great honor,” said Primrose. “The Rattler Reunion is probably the biggest event of the year in Tucumcari. Huge numbers of people come in for it every year.”
Early estimations of the numbers by organizers seem to promise well over 600 former students returning with spouses and children to their high school alma mater. “There are big, big crowds,” said Quay County Commissioner Jeff Lewalling who celebrated his 40th class reunion last year. “It is more than a school reunion, though. It’s a reunion for the whole community. You always see people that you haven’t seen for years. It’s so much fun.”
As is tradition for the Rattler Reunion, the class celebrating their 30 year reunion acts as host for the annual celebration. Thus, hosting the event is the class of 1974.
According to organizers of the reunion, activities planned in Tucumcari are centered at the Tucumcari Convention Center, include a number of socials, a golf tournament, a barbecue dinner, dances, a banquet and the parade.
“It should be a great get together,” said Tucumcari Convention Center Director Ron Wilmot. “I know people are really looking forward to it. It will be a busy weekend.”
Organizers say there will also be individual class get-togethers which will take place throughout the three days of the weekend and will take place all over the city.
“I remember my first Rattler Reunion,” said Lewalling. “and I remember my last Rattler Reunion. They’re just a great time of meeting people again and being with friends.”
According to Benton Grear of the host class of 1974 steering committee things are coming together for the reunion.
“We’re looking for a great turnout,” said Grear. “We’ve been able to track down quite a few class mates and it’s looking good. We’re are looking at a great raffle to. We have a TV, a digital camera, and an oil painting among other things. It should be great.”
Grear said one thing that he believes will be different than in past years is that this year there will be a visiting place for during the dance. He said that often because of the loudness of the band at the dance people cannot talk and visit. For that reason a room at the convention center will be provided just for that use. Registration is $35 per person and that includes the banquet, dances and other entertainment. For more information the reunion website at www.tucumcarirattlers.com.