For the 102nd year, the village of Wagon Mound will kick off its annual Bean Days celebration with a “bean-cleaning party” at 6 p.m. Friday at the local firehouse culminating over the four-day weekend with a feast on Labor Day Monday for up to 1,500 people from around the state, The Raton Range reported.
The annual event got its start in 1909 when Higinio Gonzales and others cooked up beans in wash boilers behind the schoolhouse for what was at first called the Mora County Farmers Harvest Jubilee, then changed the following year to Bean Day and later expanded to four-day celebration honoring Wagon Mound’s once-premier agricultural crop, the pinto bean.
This year’s event includes musical performances, three days of rodeo, a parade that kicks off at 9:30 a.m. Monday, softball tournaments, dances, mud bog races, horseshoe tournaments, a veterans’ memorial service, children’s activities and the highlight — the traditional free beans-and-barbecue lunch in the village park at noon on Labor Day, The Range said.
Some 300 pounds of beans and 800 pounds of meat are cooked in an underground pit filled with wood and charcoal burned all day Sunday, placed in the pit at dusk on Sunday, then uncovered Monday morning for the noontime feast, according to The Range.
One big change in this year’s celebration, the paper reported, is moving the rodeo from where it had been held for the past 60 years to a new location, a 41-acre site south on Catron Avenue.
Volunteers have been at work dismantling the old arena and are expected to be putting it together at the new site right up until the Bean Days themselves, and this year’s rodeo is being dedicated to those volunteers, The Range said.
Grand marshal for this year’s parade will be the state champion Wagon Mound Trojans boys basketball team, according to the paper.
For a complete schedule of events, go to the Bean Day website.