By Thomas Garcia
QCS Senior Writer
Two projects by the Tucumcari/Quay County Chamber of Commerce and Tucumcari Rotary Club spruced up Route 66 and Tucumcari Mountain in advance of the annual Rattler Reunion.
Tucumcari High School alumni will return Thursday through Saturday for the 45th annual Rattler Reunion at the Tucumcari Convention Center.
This year, the returning Rattlers may notice some recent enhancements along Route 66, such as newly painted highway shields on sidewalks in front of businesses.
Painting the shields has been an ongoing chamber project for some time, said Chamber director Gail Sanders, who said that originally, the were supposed to be painted on the street but that a state requirement prevented it. She said a suggestion was made to paint the shields on the sidewalks instead.
“This actually works out a lot better for everyone,” Sanders said. “This keeps us from being in traffic to paint the signs and keeps tourist out of the street as well.”
Sanders, Chamber President Russell Braziel, Vice President Aaron Kennedy and board member Debbie Lafferty painted the 23 shields on Saturday along Route 66. The Tucumcari Rotary Club has placed solar lights that are being on Tucumcari Mountain with the purpose of illuminating the “T” at night.
“This was a project voted on by the Rotary to make the ‘T’ more visible at night,” said Rotary Club member Robert Hockaday.
“The Rotary felt placing lights on the mountain to light up the ‘T’ was an Interesting project to promote Tucumcari,” said Richard Primrose, the club’s treasurer.
Primrose said the lights would enhance the community for both residents and tourists.
Hockaday said it took Rotary members four hours on Saturday to place 3,000 solar-powered tree lights on the mountain. He said the lights cover the “T,” which is 180 tall and 60 feet wide. The goal is to try and make the lights brighter and make sure the lights are pointing toward town, Hockaday added.
Hockaday said there has also been discussion about the addition of more lights and possibly adding colored bulbs.