Volunteers at the Helm of the Clovis Rodeo

April 23, 2024 – The days leading up to the Clovis Rodeo are essential to the planning and execution of the “Last Weekend in April”, as volunteer organizations from all over Clovis come together rain or shine to prepare for the show.

The new VIP suites are rodeo-ready, thanks to the help of a lot of volunteers, “We used to serve about 275 people, and this year we are going to serve about 700, and we went from 14 suites to 36,” said Ruth Jones, Associate Director in charge of the VIP suites, “a little difference.”

The volunteers stocked the bars, cleaned and decorated the rooms, and made sure everything was prepared for the special guests.

“I have pretty high expectations of what these guests should have, because they’re paying a lot of money here and they would like a level of service, and we try to make that happen,” said Jones.

For many rodeo volunteers, it’s a family tradition to get together to do the hard work. Parents who volunteer make kids who volunteer, and bring generations of family back to the Clovis Rodeo with time.

“I feel incredibly blessed by everybody that wants to pitch in,” said Jones “My son helps run all the bars, my husband is involved, and my other two children help me as well, and when my dad was alive my parents were both here.”

Jones has been working in the VIP suites for 9 years, and before that she had been attending the rodeo every year since she was in 2nd grade.

“I try to tell everybody ‘You know you’re part of a legacy,’” Jones said, “They’re not going to take these suites down, so this is gonna be here forever and [they’ll] be able to tell [their] kids and grandchildren ‘I helped in there.’”

The American Legion Cecil Cox Post 147 has been serving concessions out of the same building they always have, right outside the lower entrance of the cement grandstands. Generations of Boy Scouts from Troop 60 have marched up and down the stands selling snow cones, kettle corn, and cotton candy.

Absolutely everywhere you look, around  the Clovis Rodeo grounds, you can see evidence of the passionate volunteer work that gets done every year, as people return to offer their time and their labor to put the place together.