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A Central Valley tradition is celebrating 80 years of family fun this weekend. The first BIG Hat Days was held in 1938 to pay tribute to the hardworking Clovis cowboys and farmers.
“Their hats served to block the dirt and sun from their faces, and the townspeople were invited to don their favorite hat to salute them,” says Diana Hunnicutt, Membership Director for the Clovis Chamber of Commerce.
BIG Hat Days has grown quite a bit since those pre-WWII days. The event, organized by the Clovis Chamber, covers 15 blocks with shopping, food, and entertainment.
The festivities take place in Old Town Clovis on Pollasky Avenue, one block west of Clovis Avenue between Third and Ninth streets. On Saturday, April 7, the festival runs from 9 a.m. to 6 p.m. On Sunday, April 8, the fun wraps up at 5 p.m. Parking is free in the surrounding lots and at the Clovis Rodeo Grounds.
There are two kids carnivals planned. “You’ll find Ryan’s Happy Day Pony Rides, the Great American Petting Zoo, water balls, and the Clovis Police Department Obstacle Course for everyone’s pleasure,” Hunnicutt says.
If shopping is more your thing, there’s a wide variety of local merchandise and one-of-a-kind crafts—everything from home goods to fine photography to clothing.
“This year, there are nearly 50 food vendors spread throughout the entire BIG Hat Days event,” Hunnicutt says. “Keep your energy up with traditional festival munchies that include kettle corn, shaved ice, and roasted corn. For more substantial fare, visit the Bullard Food Court for rib-sticking barbecue, Mexican fare, and corn dogs.”
Adults can enjoy live music inside the Michelob Ultra Beer Garden. Musicians set to perform include John Pemberton, Ron Rodgers & The Last Chance Saloon, Dakota Crossing, Aubrey Road, and The Only Cash Tribute Band.
The Clovis Chamber of Commerce says they could use some extra hands to make BIG Hat Days a success. If you are interested in volunteering your time, they promise coffee, donuts, and good company. You can call Greg at (559) 299-7363 for more information.
Photos courtesy of the Clovis Chamber of Commerce