April 13, 2023 – One of the many traditions of rodeo season in Clovis is the presentation of the hat and buckle to the Grand Marshal(s) of the Clovis Rodeo Parade.
Susan Franzich and Judy Hedrick went to Sassano’s Mens Wear in Old Town Clovis, an anchor for the shopping district for over 80 years and the traditional place for Grand Marshal’s to make their hat selection.
“They both picked pretty traditional styles,” owner Greg Sassano said, “different from each other, but they know what they like.”
We won’t see the hats until the parade, but Sassano let us know that the ladies didn’t go for anything too fancy; just some nice Stetson and Resistol straw hats, with popular front dips and brims.
If you’re thinking about getting a new western hat ahead of Rodeo Week, Sassano recommends that you choose a style you like off the rack.
“Felt or fur, you can usually shape them with steam,” Sassano said, “but most of the new straws are treated and it takes a lot of steam to penetrate the treatment. If you overcome that coating then you’ve lost some of the integrity of the hat.”
He explained that most modern straw hats feature a coating, or treatment, that makes it glossy and gives it better integrity. Palm hats, with their naturally pliable fibers, aren’t treated so they can be shaped any way the wearer wants.
“Most of these new ones have a wire in the brim, so if you want to change it you just kind of have to carefully bend it,” Sassano concluded.
So, with the assistance of Sassano’s staff, the Clovis Rodeo 2023 Grand Marshals chose high quality, cool straw hats for the traditionally hot Clovis Rodeo Weekend.
Since Sassano took over for his father, Les Sassano, he hasn’t been able to go see the rodeo. “I’m so glad to be a part of something [with the rodeo],” Sassano said, “because it’s been so long since I’ve been able to be out there.”
A private Clovis Rodeo Association (CRA) event will be held during the week of rodeo to present these gifts to the honorees, before their grand entrance for the parade at 9AM on Saturday, April 29th.