Quay County Sun - Serving the High Plains

By Thomas Garcia
Staff Writer 

Fired Up! fundraiser adds events

Food vendors, music set for seventh year of MainStreet event.

 

September 13, 2017 | View PDF

File photo

Odd-Lab's fire dancer Gina Armendariz dazzles the crowd with her fiery display of flexibility during last year's Fired Up! event in Tucumcari.

Expanded children's events, new attractions, improved main attractions and a larger variety of food venders than ever before are just a few of the things residents and visitors can look forward to during this year's Fired Up! event in Tucumcari.

"We are starting an hour earlier and adding another hour to the schedule this year to give those attending the annual Fired Up!, event the best experience possible," said Gail Houser, Tucumcari MainStreet's executive director.

Houser said Fired Up!, is MainStreet's annual fundraiser that for the past seven years has featured a variety of entertainment, the majority fire- or flame-oriented.

He said while this year's event will mark the departure of the blacksmithing competition, Mesalands Community College's foundry program has offered to step up in another significant way.

"We are going to see vamped up aluminum pour conducted by the faculty and students of Mesalands Community College's fine arts program," Houser said.

Making its debut last year, the molten aluminum pour gave onlookers the chance to see the students and faculty at work,

The metal selected for the pour was aluminum because it has a lower melting heat than iron, said Joel Kiser, a fine arts faculty member. The college does an annual iron pour on campus that attracts artists from across the country.

"It was a lot of fun; it gave us a chance to try something we have not done before," said faculty member D'Jean Jawrunner.

Jawrunner said due to the amount of time they had, the students and faculty constructed a furnace out of a steel trash can. She said the furnace is easier for them to move and operate at a remote location off campus.

Houser said he hopes with the increased space available to the students and faculty the event will be a bigger success with the crowd.

"We will be adding musical entertainment from a mariachi band featuring a member who performed at the 2012 Olympics games," Houser said.

Houser said the El Paso-based fire dancers of Odd-Lab will return again this year to highlight the event. He said the performers have been working on creating a new experience for the crowd, one in which may include increased crowd participation.

"We have also decided to switch things up this year by setting off the fireworks at the end of the event at 10 p.m.," Houser said. "In the past the fireworks were set off before Odd-Lab's final performance and the crowd left early."

Houser said one aspect he is excited about is the high number of food vendors that will be at the event. He said there is a variety of foods that will be available for those attending.

"Of course we can't talk about Fired Up!, without mentioning crowning of Prince Tocom and Princess Cari," Houser said.

Last year Porfy Martinez and Abigail Lucero were the two local youths who were crowned during the Fired Up! event.

Montano said each year the contestants have their own unique charm while on the stage. She said the public's response to the event has continue to grow with each year. Those interested with entering their child into the competition need to do so a week before the event, Montano said.

Montano said to enter the contest the boy or girl will need a Native American costume. For information or registration you can call 575-403-9675.

Houser said another youth oriented attraction kicking off the event this year is a performance by the Tucumcari Elementary ORFF ensemble musical group.

"I am looking forward to having these young children perform for the event," Houser said.

Houser said there have been discussions with local cornhole enthusiasts to include a tournament. He said the event would be held at a neighboring field to be included in all of the events giving participants an opportunity to enjoy the event while giving onlookers a chance to experience the game.

For more information about Fired Up!, visit http://www.tucumcarimainstreet.org

 

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