Community Heritage Center hosts Rodeo-themed Family Day

Two cowboys learn about Clovis Western Heritage (Photo Clovis Veterans Memorial District)

March 23, 2024 – Little boys and girls in their bandanas and hats ran around the museum on their pool noodle ponies and played with the interactive displays, while they learned a little more about Clovis history on Saturday morning.

Family Day at the Cultural Heritage Center is a special event just for kids 12 and under to take part in some hands-on activities and to be immersed in lots of Clovis culture.

Saturday’s event had a Rodeo theme, so the young participants got to try out a real saddle, listen to a story about a barrel racer, and make their own pool noodle ponies, before taking off into the interactive displays themselves.

The Heritage Center is much more than a static display of artifacts, it’s a purpose-built museum that feels like stepping into a live history book.

As a part of the Clovis Veterans Memorial District, half of the exhibits at the Heritage Center are focused on aspects of Clovis’s physical history, like logging and agriculture, and the other half is concerned with 20th century war history.

The museum will change over time, says Director Amy Cross, “We’re continuing to tell the story rather than just…overhauling the whole thing, because there’s such a vast story to be told.”

“Eventually the whole facility will move forward in time,” says Cross, “[to] start focusing on after World War 1 until the 1940s on the home front, and once we tell that story, transitioning into World War 2.”

Cross says that a majority of their visitors are 3rd graders on field trips with their classes to learn about local history, and that she sees a lot of those students again with their parents and siblings.

With its gorgeously curated informational displays on the walls, and also plenty to touch and explore, the Heritage Center is fun for kids and adults alike.

Currently there is a comprehensive display of artifacts, letters and journals, and stories about Clovis’s involvement in World War 1. There’s even a replica trench for kids to explore, complete with a periscope, sandbags, and a supply room.

If you missed out on this Family Day, there will be another on Wednesday, March 27th.

Director Cross says that there will be about 4 Family Day events a year, with different themes and exhibits.

The Community Heritage Center is open to the public Tuesday through Saturday, 10AM to 5PM.