Trail Fest to introduce STEM activities, food trucks

Clovis Trail Fest, a free event for all ages, will feature activities, demonstrations, snacks and entertainment at over 20 locations along the Old Town and Dry Creek trails between Fifth Street and Dry Creek Park. (Daniel Leon/Clovis Roundup)

The city’s third annual Trail Fest is coming up May 5 and this year’s Guadalajara street fair inspired festival will feature a host of new vendors.

Thanks to a generous $1,500 grant from new sponsor Kaiser Permanente, which will have a booth along the trail offering free blood pressure checks, the city was able to hype up this year’s event to attract a few food vendors, including the Sno Café snow cone truck and Pop’s Emporium gourmet ice pops.

In addition to adding some snacks to enjoy along the trail, residents and visitors who take the time to walk, run, or bike along the three-mile stretch of the trail from Fifth Street in Old Town north to Dry Creek Park will be able to stop and enjoy a variety of fun, interactive activities. Returning from last year, two groups will be doing karate, one will be doing Tai Chi, another will have hula demonstrations, and PetSmart, which had a hit booth last year with its doggy spray-painted stencils, will be back at it with entertainment for canines and their owners.

New this year are two vendors who will be focusing on STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics) activities. After school program Bricks 4 Kidz will be leading kids who stop by in Lego building and design activities, and the InnovEd Science & Tech Learning Center will be emphasizing robotics activities.

Clovis Culinary Center chefs will also have a booth for the first time this year and rumor has it they will be doing food demonstrations and may have some tasty treats to try.

Old Town Yoga is another new vendor this year and it will be leading calming exercises in front of The Walking Doctor statue on Third Street in Old Town.

Other fun activities will be a bicycle rodeo—a bicycle obstacle course—set up by Clovis Police Department, which will be promoting bicycle safety, and an inflatable obstacle course set up by sponsoring partner Clovis Veterans Memorial District. Other vendors include the City of Clovis’ parks and transit departments, Get Fit Clovis, Clovis Animal Receiving & Care Center with the Miss Winkles mobile pet adoption truck, the City of Fresno’s recreation department, and Sprouts Farmers Market.

“The goal is to get people out by having booths for them to check out along the trail,” said Shonna Halterman, the General Services Director for the City of Clovis. “Everyone wanders around and we find that people end up going much farther than they planned because the whole event spans six miles. So, by the time they go around and get back to their starting point, they’ve done that six miles.”

While Trail Fest certainly promotes health and wellness in the community and is a great motivator to get people out there moving, Halterman said for the city it’s all about making people aware of the great trail system Clovis has and encouraging people to use it.

“I think Trail Fest promotes our trail system and our parks,” Halterman said. “It lets people know what is out there. Plus, if we have a healthy community, that benefits everyone.”

General Services Manager Amy Hance said the trail is one of the best amenities the city has.

“We just want to highlight the trail and what a great amenity it is,” Hance said. “Tons of people use the trail. They do these counts on them and it is tens of thousands of people who are out there monthly and I’m one of those, but this community is big, it’s over 100,000 people so that means not everyone is out there. One of the best parts of our city is that trail [system] so we want more people out there using it.”

Halterman said Trail Fest attendees are welcome to start walking or biking from any point on the trail and can show up anytime within the four-hour window and browse booths and do activities at their leisure during that time. She encourages participants to bring a backpack or some kind of bag as many vendors will be handing out information and swag.

Trail Fest will run from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. on May 5.

To view the Trail Fest map, visit www.CityOfClovis.com/TrailFest

Valerie Shelton :