Clovis Rodeo History
It was the spring of 1914 when members of the Clovis Women’s Club sponsored the first Clovis Festival. Mrs. M.S. McMurtry, Mrs. Brook Gross and Mrs. Carl Merriman were some of the first leaders that started what is now in its 109th year.
The first festival was held in a vacant lot in the northwest part of what was the town of Clovis. The arena circle was formed by wagons, carriages and a few automobiles. The entertainment included games, horse races and a picnic dinner. The festival was kicked-off by a parade down the main unpaved street of Clovis which brought the locals together from the valley and foothills.
In 1921 the event was an effort of the Clovis Women’s Club and the Clovis American Legion Post. This was the first “Clovis Day” celebration at which the local cowboys officially conducted a rodeo event.
In 1936 Clovis businesses and cattlemen officially formed a “Horse Show Association.” In 1937 the association purchased the land where the Shaver Lake Lumber Company stood and was the terminus of the lumber flume that previously brought lumber from the mountains. Wooden grandstands were erected and the event progressed to what we know today as the Clovis Rodeo. The main concrete grandstand was built in 1949.
As it did in its beginning, the Clovis Rodeo continues to bring families and friends together to enjoy a time of friendship, fun and relaxation on the last full weekend in April.
As the Rodeo celebrates another year, we want to thank the community of volunteers that makes the Clovis Rodeo what it is today. We look forward to continued successful celebrations of the Clovis tradition of rodeo and the western way of life.
Check out the PRCA Hall of Fame video-- Click the Image to Watch the Video.
Image Courtesy of Clovis RoundUp