This weekend thousands of Valley residents would have been dressing up in their cowboy and cowgirl best and celebrating the 106th Clovis Rodeo.
Due to COVID-19, the annual event has been canceled. The only other time the Clovis Rodeo didn’t take place was during WWII.
“It was not an easy decision for the rodeo committee to cancel the 2020 Clovis Rodeo due to COVID-19, but one that we felt was necessary because the health and welfare of our friends and neighbors must come first,” said the Clovis Rodeo Committee in a statement to FresYes. “We have numerous charities and community organizations that benefit from the rodeo annually. The support of our fans, volunteers and incredible Clovis Rodeo sponsors make it all possible. The City of Clovis estimates that the economic impact of the Clovis Rodeo is almost $15 million annually.”
One of the non-profit organizations that rely heavily on funds raised during the rodeo is the Old Town Clovis Kiwanis Club. One-third of their yearly budget comes from the concession and beer booth they operate north of the area behind the grandstands.
“Our club is grateful every year for the opportunity to fundraise at the Clovis Rodeo,” said Taylor Hillman, a board member with the Old Town Clovis Kiwanis. “100% of the funds we raise go back into the community to further the Kiwanis mission, to serve the children of the world.”
The cancellation and postponement of other events such as the Clovis Rodeo Association’s golf tournament and Big Hat Days is also impacting fundraising efforts by the Old Town Clovis Kiwanis.
“Our fundraising efforts fuel a wide array of events and donations throughout the year that benefit the children of our community,” Hillman said. “Our club supports groups such as the Special Olympics, Clovis Unified Schools and Sports, Boys and Girl Scouts, the Clovis Police Department, and more. Our club also donates time and money to Clovis parks and trails beautification and improvements, holiday food baskets and clothing, scholarships for students, and our local high school key clubs. In addition, the Old Town Clovis Kiwanis Club puts on one of the biggest events in the city, the Children’s Electric Christmas Parade. This yearly event is not a fundraiser for our club and is something we do out of our budget for the community.”
The Old Town Clovis Kiwanis Board of Directors has already held a virtual meeting where tough decisions have begun to be made regarding planned donations.
Anyone who would like to contribute to the Old Town Clovis Kiwanis Club can do so online. They have a Paypal account set up on the “Donate” page of their website.
The Clovis Rodeo is traditionally a four-day event. This year it had been expanded to five days. In addition to the classic rodeo events, two concerts, a dance and large parade were set to take place.
During rodeo week, every hotel room in Clovis and the surrounding area is typically full. The Clovis Rodeo Grounds have 10,000 seats available per day and the events sell out each year.
All this activity is very important for local business. Julie Glenn and her family own the restaurants House of JuJu and Papa’s Place and On The Edge coffee shop in Old Town Clovis. Their revenue is already down 75% because of COVID-19 and with no rodeo this year; it’s going to be tough.
“Old Town Clovis is about community so the shutdown of these events, including the events like the wine walk and antique fair are crucial to our community,” Glenn said. “They not only bring people into our town but also provide free family entertainment.”
House of JuJu and Papa’s Place are open for takeout and you can still walk in for coffee at On The Edge.
“Our community has been so incredibly supportive,” Glenn said. “We are so blessed with an amazing community all throughout Fresno County. Every bit helps.”
As for the Clovis Rodeo, if you already had purchased tickets you have three options. You can receive a refund, exchange your tickets for the 2021 rodeo performance or in lieu of a refund, you can donate the face value of your tickets to the Clovis Rodeo Foundation.
The 107th Clovis Rodeo is April 21-25th, 2021. You can learn more at ClovisRodeo.com