June 2, 2023
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Provided by Alice Liles

Alice’s note: This story first appeared in my blog The Bright Lights of Muleshoe on September 9, 2022. The bonfire is so close to our house we can see it without leaving our yard, but this year I went down to see it up close and wish the team well in their game Friday night against Friona.

Friday, September 9, 2022, will be homecoming at Muleshoe High School. For the past week, and maybe a few days more, we have watched a steady progression of city dump trucks rumble past our house full of branches, tree trunks, and occasional pieces of lumber gathered up from the city’s land fill to build a bonfire for the purpose of firing up the Mules to beat the Friona Chieftains in the homecoming game.

Why do we get to watch all these dump trucks go by, you might ask. Well, because they build the bonfire at the back of the golf course driving range which just happens to be next door to us, practically in our back yard!

The golf course always has a pile of fallen limbs collected from all over the course during the year, so the beginnings of a bonfire were already there; the city added to it, as they have done for perhaps the last ten years or so.  The last load for this year was added Wednesday afternoon, maybe one or two loads Thursday morning, and then the road was silent.

Till later Thursday afternoon when they send a front-end loader to push it all up a bit higher and tighter.

And it was ready.

The area in front of it was mowed and marked off to separate fans and kids from cars that might park out there. Around 7 p.m. I happen to look up and saw the trailer full of fireworks pass by, followed by some of the firetrucks.

About 8 o’clock the Mules black and white game bus came through with the band and color guard.

And then around 8:30 the sirens told me the team would be arriving on the fire trucks.

A good crowd of fans was gathering despite the junior high game going on at the same time.

Coach Jason Richards gave a short pep talk and gave the microphone to several of the team members to say a few words. I managed to catch no. 1 Irvin Torrez and no. 7 Sebastian Kirven as they thanked the fans for coming out.

The cheerleaders, mascot, color guard, and band contributed to the festivities in support of the team.

At 8:42 the pile that had been worked on all week was set on fire and didn’t take long to make itself known.

About that time, the fireworks started. Fireworks are always a hit, I think. At least I always enjoy them along with the bonfire.

It was a nice night for a bonfire. The moon was full, there was no wind to speak of, and the temperature was pleasant. But if it had been too cold, the fire would have warmed us up.


Eventually the fans departed as the fire blazed on. Since it was all within walking distance for me, I came back at 10:45 to see how things were going.

And again at 12:45.

Then this morning at 8:06 as the sun was about to come up, I checked again; bless its heart, still aflame for the Mules to have a good game tonight.

And if you bother to check, some flames will still be there tonight during the game.

Go Mules!

Thanks to Raquel Kirven, Jackson Myers, and Matt Davis for their help with this story.

To read the story and see all the pictures, go to www.aliceliles.com. To read other stories about bonfires, type Bonfires in the Search line.

Alice Liles

Muleshoe Journal Correspondent


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