Valley Parades: Clovis Rodeo Parade

May 16, 2015 | 2015 Articles, Arts & Entertainment, Mallory Moad

by Mallory Moad

In 1964, Barbra Streisand had a hit song in which she declared that nobody was gonna rain on her parade. Had Babs been in Clovis in 2015, she would have been disappointed. The 98th Annual Clovis Rodeo Parade was the third on my list of parades to see this year, and it was a wet one. A steady downpour made the cancellation of this popular event a definite possibility. But this is Clovis, rough and tough, a way of life! The show must go on! So, appropriately attired in boots, cowboy hat, and red raincoat, I staked out my place deep in the heart of Old Town.

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Visalia Rockettes Drill Team

Normally, the Clovis Rodeo Parade has over 200 entries, but the inclement weather whittled this year’s number down to 150. Even so, it was still a celebration of the town’s values and Old-West traditions. There were plenty of horses and children (both of which are waterproof), cowboys, cowgirls, and groups representing education, public safety, law enforcement, and local businesses, plus lots of motor vehicles of all kinds.

Leading the procession were the parade’s three Grand Marshalls. Jim Call, Bob Kennedy, and Orville Hefley waved to the enthusiastic crowd as they rode in a vintage fire truck. Their big smiles made me forget I was standing in a drizzle. These gentlemen were selected in honor of their 25-plus years of working behind the scenes of the Clovis Rodeo.

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Although the parade had fewer floats than anticipated, they were eye-catching and clever. The Education Employees Credit Union showed us an old-timey school classroom in which the teacher was leading a lesson in steer roping, according to the diagram on the chalkboard. The Girl Scouts rode in style on The Cookie Express, a charming float that resembled a steam engine. In a riot of color, America’s Kids gymnastics theme was “Under The Sea” and featured mermaids and a dancing dolphin.parades

Due to weather-related safety issues, none of the scheduled marching bands took part in the festivities, but other parade participants made up for the lack of noise. Motorcycles from the Clovis Police Department ran their sirens, and a group of energetic folks riding the float from Back Yard Feed & Supply encouraged the crowd to give a big “yeee-haaa!” Of course, I did.

This was my first Clovis Rodeo Parade, and although it wasn’t exactly what I expected (thanks to Mother Nature), I still found it enjoyable. I plan to return for the 99th Annual Clovis Rodeo Parade so I can experience it in all its sun-drenched glory.

My name is Mallory Moad and I love parades, even the ones that are a little soggy.

Mallory Moad is a visual/performance artist, vocalist in the jazz band Scats on The Sly and a proud Central San Joaquin Valley native.

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