The rodeo is in town and at some point, rodeo fans are going to need to fuel up for or take a break from all that riding and roping.
We’ve compiled a guide of where to eat, drink and shop during the rodeo this weekend after polling local businesses and officials. Some are inside the rodeo grounds, some are outside in Old Town.
“Girls will follow them down the street,” he says. “They want their autographs.”
Or, just follow the dirt trail. Cowboys tend to leave one after competing in all that dirt, says Clovis business development manager Shawn Miller.
“You can tell the cowboys because they are filthy dirty,” he says. “They leave a trail of dirt everywhere they go.”
The whole area just turns back the clock and turns Western for a few days.
Larry Baumeister, Old Town Saloon
Where to find rodeo food: A tri-tip sandwich is the quintessential rodeo food, says Clovis Rodeo Association president Greg Gillard. The $6 sandwich is hugely popular and has been made by the same family for years, slow cooked over almond wood.
“At any given time, there’s probably 30 people working inside or outside the tri-tip booth,” he says.
Where to get a cold beer: If you need to break for a cold one, Bobby Salazar’s at 434 Clovis Ave. is ready for you. Server Brad Richey said customers routinely rave about how cold the beer is.
“We have the coldest mugs in Old Town Clovis,” he says. “We bring the beers out and sometimes it ices over by the time it gets to the table.”
Exaggeration? Try one and let us know.
If you’re looking for local beer, the 559 Local tasting room at 608 Fourth St. will be open much of the weekend with live music Friday night.
Where to get something harder: Bellying up to a bar and saying, “Bartender, gimme a whiskey” might sound like something from an old Western movie, but it will actually get you a whiskey at the rodeo. That’s because Pendleton Whiskyfrom Oregon is a sponsor and will have a “bar” on the rodeo grounds serving shots of whiskey. Fitting because their bottles feature a rider and a bucking horse and their slogan is “Let’er buck.”
Where to shop on the rodeo grounds: There will be all kinds of vendors for shoppers at the rodeo, mostly “for the gals,” says Gillard. Two local ones of interest are both mobile boutiques with their own dressing rooms.
The Dear Danger Mobile Boutique, a boutique inside a truck run by a model living in Orange Cove, will be there too selling clothing and jewelry. She’ll have hats that say “My Job Depends on Ag,” along with Landfill Dzine handbags made from recycled farm irrigation hose and Bandit Brand T-shirts from North Fork.
Sometimes they like to have a nice new Stetson for the rodeo.
Greg Sassano, Sassano’s Men’s Wear
You can shop at Cowgirl Glitz, a trailer that sells “country chic” fashion, which owner Julie Curry says is similar to the boho-chic style seen at Coachella Valley Music and Arts Festival. That means lots of fringe on purses and cardigans, floppy hats and handmade purses.
“That doesn’t limit it to the just the cowgirl look,” she says.
Where to shop outside the rodeo grounds: All the Old Town boutiques stock up on anything that has horseshoes, cowboys or fringe on it in the weeks leading up to the rodeo, says Cora Shipley, owner of the Heart’s Delight at the Old Hotel Bistro at 356 Pollasky Ave.
If you want to avoid the crowds, go shopping after the 9:30 a.m. parade on Saturday, say the ladies at Revival 23 boutique at 453 Pollasky Ave. Old Town is reportedly dead after the parade because everyone heads over to the rodeo.
Where to get real Western wear: Of course, you can’t get more authentic than the 109-year-old Sassano’s Men’s Wear at 448 Pollasky Ave. The store stocks up on boots and hats, with many rodeo spectators spiffing up for the big event.
“Sometimes they like to have a nice new Stetson for the rodeo,” says owner Greg Sassano.
Be sure to go before Saturday morning though, because the store – a major sponsor of the rodeo – closes its doors after the parade so the family can go to the rodeo.
5 a.m.when Uncle Buddy’s will open Saturday morning for the parade, serving breakfast burritos and coffee.
Where to fuel up for the parade: Uncle Buddy’s Smokehouse N Grill, which opened seven months ago at 836 Pollasky Ave., will open at 5 a.m. on parade day. For people staking out spots for the parade, Uncle Buddy’s will be selling breakfast burritos, coffee and hot chocolate. A regular breakfast starts at 8 a.m.
A few lucky spectators can stake out a seat at the bar inside the restaurant that faces the window overlooking Pollasky.
Where to cool down with ice cream: Take a break with a cone or a bowl of ice cream at Scoops Soups & More, 433 Pollasky Ave. The store carries Fresno State ice cream, including pistachio ice cream made with real pistachios – something you can’t find at the bigger ice cream chains likely because pistachios are expensive (Cold Stone Creamery and Baskin Robbins both use pistachio flavoring, and the latter has almonds mixed in).