Grab your big hat and head over to Old Town Clovis for the largest two-day festival in Central California. The 77th annual Big Hat Days runs from 9 a.m. to 6 p.m. Saturday, April 2 and 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Sunday, April 3.
More than 140,000 visitors flock to the streets of Old Town Clovis the first weekend of April to shop from local vendors and eat delicious kettle corn, shaved ice, corn dogs and shrimp-filled artichokes.
“For many families, it’s a tradition,” said Mark Blackney, CEO of the Clovis Chamber of Commerce, which hosts the event. “We have a lot of returning visitors as well as new.”
The same goes for vendors. This year more than 400 vendors — some longstanding and some new — will set up along the streets of Old Town.
“This year the event will be larger. We’ve spread out to include Pollasky between 8th and 9th streets,” Blackney said. “We added that so we can expand the carnival.”
Attendees can stroll through 15 blocks of food and craft vendors and let little ones enjoy the carnival on 4th Street, Happy Day Pony Rides and Great American Petting Zoo.
Those 21 and over can sit in the Michelob Ultra beer garden at Bullard and Woodworth to enjoy live music.
Terry Isaac Naracon will play from 9 to 11 a.m. Saturday and noon to 12:30 p.m. Sunday, and between band sets. Country crooner Chad Moon will perform from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. Saturday.
Ron Rodgers & Last Chance Saloon Band will play new country from 1:30 to 3:30 p.m. Saturday, followed by traditional country stars Danny Milsap Band from 4 to 6 p.m.
Tamara Crawford Band will perform classic rock and country from 12:30 to 2:30 p.m. Sunday, followed by A.C. Myles singing the blues from 3 to 5 p.m.
Big Hat Days, which kicks off Western Heritage Month in Clovis, offers a big boost to the local economy, Blackney said.
“Big Hat Days brings in nearly 150,000 people to Clovis,” he said. “Business is not just done in Old Town at the event, but that revenue spreads throughout the community to gas stations, restaurants and the rest of the hospitality industry.”
Parking is free on surrounding streets and lots, including at the Clovis Rodeo Grounds on the east side of Clovis Avenue between Bullard Avenue and 5th Street. Admission to Big Hat Days is free.
For additional information visit www.clovischamber.com/events/big_hat_days.