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Houston Native Celebrates Raton Homecoming

by Patrick Garza

As the Raton Tigers won their homecoming football game 33-8, I stood outside in the dreary, wet rain at the Raton Tigers Homecoming Game. I couldn’t help but think about the passion and spirit of hometown sports in Small Town USA. The fact that people stayed to support their high school athletes in such weather perplexed me. Back where I’m from–Houston–high school sports aren’t a big deal, let alone homecoming.

Tiger Mascot during Raton Homecoming Parade 2023 (Photo by Frank Mahannah)

Earlier that day, I was even more shocked that the whole town had shown up to the homecoming parade. The only time I had seen something close to that is when the Astros won the World Series for Houston.

I had to find out what was up with this hometown pride, so I decided to walk amongst the crowds, and ask Tiger Football fans a few questions. Fresh off the bus from Texas, I asked questions about their favorite things to do and eat around town so that I could see for myself.

Gloria, Class of 1982, said her favorite thing to do is fish at the lake. I think you and I will have that in common Gloria. Her favorite place to eat is K-Bobs. I’ll tell you what, I’ll never turn down a steak!

Karl told me his favorite thing about living in Raton are the views of the mountains and waking up to a view every morning that never gets old. His go-to restaurant is Los Chanquis. I hope the salsa is spicy!

Penny, Class of 1979, says she loves going to the lakes. Take me with you next time! Her favorite spot to grub is Bruno's Pizza and Wings.

Vanessa, originally from Washington state, loves that Raton is a calm place to raise her children. She prefers the tastes of Mulligan’s Bar and Restaurant.

Leonore, originally from Belize, likes the wildlife that surround the area. No lions or tigers, but definitely bears! Leonore likes the Mexican dishes at Los Chanquis. Mexican food is almost never a bad idea!

Laura, originally from Illinois, says Raton has some of the friendliest people. Maybe you’ll catch her having a slice at Bruno’s!

Anita, Class of 1987, and Josh, Class of 2006, both answered the same thing–their favorite thing about Raton is the community that has grown here. They both seem to like the pizza and wings at Bruno’s. Do I see a friendship blossoming?

Judy, Class of 1973, can’t get enough of this mountain weather. Let me tell you something, neither can I Judy! Texas was an oven!

It was very nice to get to know a few locals and see their passion for the town they grew up in or relocated to.

In order to improve our community, we must be passionate about it! Do you think anything was missed? Places to go or things to eat? Let me know at so I can try it out for myself.

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