By Valerie Shelton, Editor
There is never a dull spring weekend in Clovis. The week following the popular Clovis Rodeo, residents and visitors will have another opportunity to come together for some fun at the first annual Clovis Trail Fest from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. on Saturday, April 30.
Trail Fest is a new family event in sponsored by the City of Clovis along the Old Town Trail and Dry Creek Trail from Sierra Vista Mall to Dry Creek Park. It is designed to promote health, wellness and healthy activities along the Clovis trails. During the event, people are encouraged to bike, walk or skate along the trail and enjoy activities, demonstrations, live music and snacks provided by various vendors.
The event is free to the community.
City General Services Manager Shonna Halterman said the community event was inspired by the travels of Tina Sumner, who recently retired from the city of Clovis as its director of Community and Economic Development. Since her retirement, Sumner has become a world traveler and has started a blog detailing her adventures, www.TraveltheWorldBackpacking.wordpress.com.
“She is backpacking South America and she left two or three months ago and has traveled via bus and foot all over South America. Before that, she went all the way down to Antarctica and did a big thing down there with the seals and the heavy jackets,” Halterman, an avid reader of Sumner’s blog, said. “One of the places she went was Guadalajara and on Sundays they close all of their streets and make a moving festival and in the parks there are different activities, guys playing checkers and things like that. I thought, we could do something like that along the trail.”
Already, Halterman has arranged for the parks along the trail to host different activities—from larping (live action role play, where actors dress as medieval soldiers) to Tai-Chi. Halterman said right now she is hoping to get more vendors to sign up to host activities both in different time slots at the parks and in booths along the trail.
“The big things we are working on right now is getting the word out to vendors who want to participate,” Halterman said. “There are 25 locations we have designated along the trail for this where we are going to be having things happening and we want to fill those 25 spots.”
Halterman said there is no fee to be a vendor at the Clovis Trail Fest. Vendors just need to have proof of liability insurance.
Unlike other events in Clovis, like Big Hat Days or Clovis Fest, Halterman said the Trail Fest is not meant to be a “selling event” so vendors are discouraged from handing out stacks of flyers and brochures for their products and services. Instead, Halterman wants vendors to engage with community members by having an activity for them to participate in at their booth.
“They can’t just be out there with their brochures, if they are going to have that they also need to have a bounce house or hand out bottled water or something,” Halterman said. “It doesn’t need to be a big deal. Here at the city rec center, we have a bunch of outdoor arcade games, like the one where you throw darts at the balloons. It can be something as basic as that where people can stop, do the activity and then move on to the next station.”
Aside from wanting to promote an interactive community event, Halterman said the city also wants to keep the trails as litter free as possible during Trail Fest, which is another reason for discouraging vendors from handing out flyers.
“The other problem too is if you are traveling a four-mile stretch of the trail, what are you going to do with all this stuff? It is going to end up all over the trail,” Halterman said. “That is why unless a vendor is handing out a little backpack or something that attaches to someone’s bike that they are going to use right then, we are dissuading people from doing a bunch of giveaways.”
For more information or to sign up as a vendor, contact Shonna Halterman at (559) 324-2767 or ShonnaH@CityofClovis.com.