Big Hat Days season is officially underway.
As part of the pre-event festivities, the Clovis Chamber of Commerce held a special mixer at Sierra Vista Mall to generate buzz and get the community excited about the upcoming festival.
“Annually, we host the Big Hat Days Mixer in March. It kind of starts off the rodeo season, especially Big Hat Days,” said Clovis Chamber CEO Greg Newman.
During the two-hour mixer, Chamber members and guests mingled as they enjoyed complimentary drinks and refreshments from mall restaurants and shops, including Chipotle, Charley’s Philly Steaks, Rio Grill, and Chocolate Wishes to name a few.
The mixer also featured a hat contest with about a dozen participants showcasing their crazy and unique headwear. After members of the crowd cast their votes for their preferred winner by cheering, only one remained – Chamber member Corey Stone and his cork-themed top hat.
Stone, an electrical engineer at Teter Architects & Engineers, says the award-winning hat came to life thanks to a cork collection started by he and his wife.
“My wife and I have a tradition of collecting corks and writing dates and little stories from when we had that bottle of wine,” he said. “It took a night to put it together but it was years of collecting corks.”
As a first-place gift, Stone was awarded a plaque and $100 gift card to Sierra Vista Mall.
In addition, raffle prizes of gift certificates and movie tickets were awarded to a few lucky businessmen and women in attendance.
In the end, Newman was pleased with the turnout and hopes the momentum carries over to the festival.
“We’re happy that we had a great crowd for the Big Hat Days Mixer, and we hope that everybody comes out to Big Hat Days,” he said.
Big Hat Days runs April 6-7 in the streets of Old Town Clovis. The event draws upward of 140,000 visitors during the two days, according to the Chamber’s website.