International Village celebrates eighth year at ClovisFest

Photo by J.T. Gomez, Clovis Roundup
Photo by J.T. Gomez, Clovis Roundup
Dancers of the Hãlau Hula I Ka Lã dance company take both the stage and the front of the stage during their performance in the International Village section of Clovis Fest on Saturday, September 23rd. (Photo by J.T. Gomez, Clovis Roundup)

September 26, 2023 – The Clovis Chamber of Commerce hosted their 48th Annual ClovisFest this past weekend and with it came large crowds of individuals looking for different foods, sights, and experiences.

One of those experiences came from the eighth annual “International Village”, a section of ClovisFest that was incorporated to celebrate the cultural differences in Clovis and the Central Valley.

The International Village according to Chamber of Commerce CEO Greg Newman, “Highlight the community and cultures that make up our community.”

Sponsored by the Fresno/Clovis Convention and Visitors Bureau, International Village had staged performances from groups such as the Celtic Motion Dance Company, Clovis Heiwa Taiko, Nangfa Studios-Yoj Yuj Yeas’Kaij Kiab, Iranian Culture and Arts Club, Danzantez Yoztaltepetl, Brazen Tassel Belly Dance, and an International Fashion Show.

One specific performance was completed by the Hawaiian dance academy, Hãlau Hula I Ka Lã, where dancers, both young and old, graced the stage with their presence and impressed the audience with their attunement.

Regan Padua, life-long member of the Hãlau Hula I Ka Lã, says that the company has been a part of the Clovis community for just about six years now as they moved from a Fresno location to Willow and Nees. They have been officially a company since 2014.

Hãlau Hula I Ka Lã has been coming to ClovisFest for five of the six years that they have been in Clovis and Padua says their next upcoming event, “Aloha in the Park” is family friendly with lots of performances on track to commence. Regan says, “Come to spread aloha, and live your life with aloha.”

Aloha in the Park will take place at Dry Creek Park in Clovis on October 7th.

In addition to the International Village, ClovisFest lined the streets with vendors and activities alike, including the Made in Clovis section and the Hot Air Balloon Fun Fly that occurred in the early morning hours at the Clovis Rodeo Grounds.

Chamber of Commerce member Ellie Huston said that there were plenty of viewers for that fun fly, going as far as to say that it was indeed “packed” when she arrived.

“I got here at five this morning and it was packed…The weather was outstanding and the crowds were magnificent.”

Huston also says that she walked up and down Pollasky avenue and saw the booths and how the droves of people were mingling throughout.

“There was some lovely people here and it’s just been wonderful, phenomenal.”

Devin Tienken of Legacy Realty and Development and Chamber of Commerce member says, “The Clovis Way of Life is really preserved by the Chamber embodying the business community and bringing the local community out to support those businesses…It’s not all just about bottom lines but more about the culture and community that they try to bring.”

Tienken also said that events such as ClovisFest help to both promote the Chamber of Commerce and support member businesses in downtown Clovis.

No matter the “bottom line” whether it be for the Clovis Chamber of Commerce or the City of Clovis itself, a lot of foot traffic went through the downtown area known as “Old Town. With this, plenty of businesses were given the opportunity for the all important facetime that is needed. ClovisFest once again proved how valuable such a resource as saying hello to a neighbor can be.

JT is a recent college grad with a Bachelor of Arts in Communication. He is mainly interested in sports and entertainment but covers a wide array of subjects. He currently writes for the Fresno State Baseball Dugout Club. JT looks forward to continuing his career at the Clovis Roundup and is excited to be working closely with a community that is very proud of its people.