The 46th annual ClovisFest & Hot Air Balloon Fun Fly took place this past weekend. Both Fresno and Clovis residents were there for all the excitement.
The two-day event started at the Clovis Rodeo Grounds where people were able to watch the hot air balloons inflate and then take off, bright and early. Afterwards, people were able to walk across the street to Old Town Clovis and enjoy over 250 food and crafts booths, Michelob ULTRA beer garden with live entertainment, Fresno/Clovis Convention & Visitors Bureau International Village with cultural groups, and kid-friendly areas.
From eating breakfast burritos, sipping coffee, sitting around in lawn chairs or standing, people gathered around to watch the hot air balloons launch.
Clovis resident Shiloh Martini said this was her first time at the event.
“This is the first time we brought the whole family out to actually see it because we could see it from our homes, but this experience has just been absolutely amazing,” Martini said. “The kids loved it — just being up so close and coming together as a community. It’s just been such a wonderful experience for all of us.”
Clovis resident Angelica Herrera said she woke up at 5 a.m to. be ready to leave the house by 6 a.m.
Herrera said the experience was different for her this time around.
“I first came when I was younger — when I was a teenager, so now it’s different because I’m bringing my own family,” said Herrera. “It’s special because now I get to see my kids be excited to come and look at the balloons for themselves.”
Clovis Chamber of Commerce CEO, Greg Newman said they brought in a new section to this year’s ClovisFest.
“The ClovisFest, which is very proudly sponsored by Chukchansi Gold Resort and Casino — it’s just a great family fun event,” Newman said. “New this year, we have a special Made In Clovis section where we invited young entrepreneurs, crafters, hobbyists, inventors to come out to Clovis and show off their inventions and skills to the general public.”
10-year-old Mikayla Hampton started her own business called Brass + Sass and was very excited to sell her earrings that she personally made. She said an event like this helps her gain experience especially for the future.
Khaylin Bailey was another vendor in attendance who hand-makes her accessories as well. She is the co-owner of Kara Nikole Co.
Her product is multipurpose use and made out of baby teething material. It can be used as a baby teether, key chain, pacifier clips, or stress ball.
“We are so excited! We’ve only been doing this for a couple of months, so it’s been a blessing to be able to be a part of this event like this,” said Bailey.
Bailey used words to describe the ClovisFest as “super fun,” “high energy,” with lots going on from performers, music, and all the vendors.
“It’s just been a blast,” Bailey said.
Clovis resident Earl Schilling has been going to ClovisFest since it first began.
“If you look around and see the people, it’s wonderful especially in this covid time period where people are so leery about getting out, they’re happy out here now,” Schilling said. “You can just see it in their faces, and they’re enjoying everything.”
Schilling added that it’s wonderful what Clovis has done to allow this to happen.
Priscilla Montell, Operations Director with the Clovis Chamber of Commerce said: “We really really push it being so many different parts for our community — between the hot air balloons and then the International Village and the kid zone. We have so many different areas for kids and people to just enjoy themselves. It’s a free event, so that’s important to offer the community and get a chance to come out and breathe the fresh air and have something to do.”