Rattler Reunion seeks to draw '500 or more'
August 3, 2022
After unexpectedly large attendance last year, organizers for the 51st Rattler Reunion are hoping to piggyback on that success and draw even larger numbers of Tucumcari High School alumni this week.
Reunion Chairman Joe Szaloy said last Wednesday that just under 300 people had preregistered for the event, and he expected more by mail or from walk-up registrations when the event begins Thursday at the Tucumcari Convention Center.
“We’re hoping we’ll have 400 to 500 or more,” he said. “Hopefully, we’re expecting larger numbers than ever before.”
Restrictions from the COVID-19 pandemic forced the cancellation of the 2020 Rattler Reunion. When the event resumed in 2021, Szaloy kept his expectations modest, hoping for about 300 attendees.
Instead, between 450 and 500 showed up.
Because of that success, Szaloy acknowledged he didn’t feel an urgency to change things much about the event.
“It’s going to go back to somewhat of the course of events of Rattler Reunions we’ve had in past years, with a few variations along the way,” he said.
One interesting twist is the involvement of a rival school during one of the events.
The Logan High School Class of 2023 will assist with the popular Friday night barbecue at the convention center.
“We were seeking out potential assistance with the barbecue on Friday night, and one of the board members was contacted by one of the representatives from that class in Logan, that they would be willing to help out and take care of that for us,” Szaloy explained.
“The board agreed that would be a positive thing. We know it’s not a Tucumcari Rattler class, but it’s in Quay County, it’s local and we appreciate their support and help.”
This year, Szaloy said the Rattler Reunion also will have a lot of assistance from Tucumcari FFA and 4-H members and cheerleading squads.
He said he’s also thankful for aid from the alumni board, residents and Rattler organizations in helping the event run smoothly.
“The amount of time and work from a purely volunteer situation is phenomenal,” Szaloy said.
The Rattler Reunion received $7,386 in lodgers tax funds to help defray costs of event. The cost for registrants is $65 for the major events.
Here is the reunion schedule; events are at the Tucumcari Convention Center unless otherwise noted:
• 6 to 8:30 p.m. Thursday: Registration begins, with meet-and-greet.
• 9 a.m. to 8:30 p.m. Friday: Registration, with social hour and cash bar at 5:30 p.m.
• 10 a.m. Friday: 18-hole scramble tournament at Tucumcari Municipal Golf Course.
• 6 to 8 p.m. Friday: Barbecue dinner by Logan Class of 2023 for $15 a plate.
• 6 p.m. to midnight Friday: Dance by DJ Chase Waters.
• 7 to 9 a.m. Saturday: Pancake breakfast at Mesa Cafeteria at 901 S. Fifth St. by FFA alums.
• 9 a.m. Saturday: Parade of Classes mainly on Route 66; entries gather at 8:30 a.m. at convention center lot.
• 10 a.m. to noon Saturday: Registration continues.
• Noon Saturday: Golden Rattler Luncheon for anyone from Class of 1972 and older; host is the Class of 1967.
• Noon Saturday: Other class luncheons at varying locations.
• 5:30 p.m. Saturday: Social hour with cash bar.
• 6:30 p.m. Saturday: Gathering of the classes.
• 8 p.m. to midnight Saturday: Dance by Limited Edition band.
• 10 a.m. Sunday: Community worship service at Odeon Theatre.
• 1 p.m. Sunday: Disc golf at Robert Lumpkin Memorial Disc Golf Course at Five Mile Park.
More information may be found at rattlerreunion.com or on the Rattler Reunion page on Facebook.