Misty skies don't affect Clovis Rodeo parade (video)

The Fresno BeeApril 26, 2014 

The Clovis Rodeo parade escaped rain Saturday, although dark clouds were present for most of the three-hour spectacle and a fine mist wet the air from time to time.

"It cannot rain until the parade is over," said parade volunteer Carla Jensen of Clovis.

But cooler weather was just fine with Brooke Schneider of Fresno, whose daughter Anna, 6, was on the Central Valley Princess float. "We were grateful it wasn't going to be so hot this year," she said.

Thousands lined the route to watch 160 entries that included 262 horses.

"I haven't been to a parade like this since I was 12," said Andrew Fernandes, a graduate student at Fresno State. "I like how it celebrates the Western heritage. I'm from L.A., so we don't get a lot of that."

In keeping with the theme, most high school marching bands donned cowboy hats.

The Clovis Rodeo turned 100 this year and the Dr. Vette parade entry — a Corvette car enthusiast group — had 100 Corvettes in the parade to mark the occasion.

Several veteran announcers were interspersed along the parade route.

Margaret "Snookie" Billalba has been announcing for 29 years and calls out to the entrants as they pass by.

"Hi up there," she said to a Cub Scouts float as the skies seemed ready to pour — but didn't. "Thanks for being with us today. Make some noise!"

The Cub Scouts cheered.

Some folks have been coming to the Clovis Rodeo parade for most of their lives.

Ed Borjas, 65, a native of Clovis, has been a regular for about 40 years. He parks a flatbed truck on a vacant lot owned by his brother and watches from chairs with relatives.

"You see people you haven't seen in years," he said. "It's like the saying — 'The Clovis Way of Life.' You make friends here and they stay friends."

Hunter Holden, 13, of Clovis, rode his bike to the parade.

"I like the wagon wheels and the horses — and all the cop cars," he said.

Richard Lawrence, who grew up in Clovis and recently moved back to the area, hasn't been to the parade in years. He was standing on a dirt lot on Pollasky Avenue with a few other parade watchers.

"It's gotten bigger," he said. "I keep waiting for the end to come."

Andrew Perez of Fresno carried his son Austin, 3, on his shoulders.

"My son is loving the animals and seeing the horses," he said. "It's nice how the community comes together just to see this."

The reporter can be reached at (559) 441-6104, lgriswold@fresnobee.com or @fb_LewGriswold on Twitter.

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