Big Hat Days celebrating 80 years of fun this weekend

Every year in the springtime, over 140,000 visitors fill the streets of Old Town to enjoy hundreds of craft and food booths during Big Hat Days. (Courtesy of Clovis Chamber)

Big Hat Days, Clovis’ annual springtime festival, is celebrating the big 8-0 this weekend.

Started in 1938 as a celebration to honor hardworking Clovis cowboys and farmers, the hat-inspired event got its name from the hats that block the dirt and sun from their faces. To salute the blue collar workers, townspeople were invited to don their favorite hats.

Today, 80 years later, the Clovis Chamber event is the Central Valley’s largest two-day festival, covering 15 blocks of shopping, food, and entertainment for the entire family. With carnivals in two locations, there are lots of games, rides and attractions for kids of all ages.

For those 21 and up, there’s the Michelob Ultra Beer Garden with entertainment served up by local bands. Saturday’s band schedule includes John Pemberton (10:30 a.m.-12:30 p.m.), Ron Rodgers & The Last Chance Saloon (1-3 p.m.), and Dakota Crossing (3:30-5:30 p.m.). Sunday’s schedule includes Aubrey Road Nashville Recording Artists (noon-2 p.m.), and The Only Cash Tribute Band (2:30-4:30 p.m.).

The festivities take place in Old Town Clovis on Pollasky Avenue, one block west of Clovis Avenue between Third and Ninth Streets, on April 7, from 9 a.m. to 6 p.m., and April 8 from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Parking is free in the surrounding lots and at the Clovis Rodeo Grounds.

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