Quay County Sun - Serving the High Plains

By David Grieder
Staff writer 

Ethnic Fair entertaining

The Clovis event featured various cultural performances.


July 26, 2017

Kevin Wilson

Mr Wayne, an Albuquerque-based dance teacher and choreographer, dances to Gregory's Porter's "1960 What?" at the Clovis Ethnic Fair.

CLOVIS - "The party's over here!" said Selmus Price, recognizing Mary Carrier for her raffle win at Saturday's 2017 Ethnic Fair in Hillcrest Park.

The prize: a 40 pound block of cheese, one of two donated for a fundraiser benefiting the Food Bank of Eastern New Mexico.

"My grandchildren and my husband love cheese so it's not going to be wasted," said Carrier.

The raffle drawing took place late into a lively day in the park that started with a fun run Saturday morning and ended with a talent show. In between, attendees watched a world tour of cultural performances, including music and dance exhibitions from Bushido Kenkyukai Taiko out of Albuquerque and Flamenco Nuevo Mejico Dance company of Santa Fe.

"This type of event encourages a come and go type crowd," said Price, Chairman and Event Coordinator for the Clovis Cultural/Ethnic Affairs Committee. "A lot of your attendees have their special groups they're here to see."

In addition to other groups like the Fusion World Dance Performance from Portales, attendees had their selection of food trucks, educational booths, and craft stands.

"We can make our own necklaces," said 9-year-old Joshua Ramos, referring to the activity station at the Blackwater Draw Mobile Museum. "And there are dogs here, and a lot of people. And I like the free popcorn."

Ramos' mother said Joshua and his younger brother were fascinated by the chance to get hands-on with some of the cultural artifacts of the area.

"I usually come every year," said Clovis-resident Sonja Large, carrying a "piña loca" beverage of mango, cucumber, and chile powder packed into a hollowed out pineapple with horchata. "I just love the music, the friendly people and of course the beautiful drinks."

If crowd response is any indication, one of the more popular events was from Wayne Stinson, a professional dancer from Albuquerque participating in the Ethnic Fair for the first time this year.

"We're definitely drawing a number of individuals that have been in the area for some time that don't know - and I don't know how this is possible - that this (fair) has been going on for 26 years," said Price. "The mission of this whole deal is to bring the different cultures together. Each culture is just as unique as the next. And here is the educational component: the more you know about my culture, the better you understand me."

City Commissioner Ladona Clayton, who is in her second year assisting with the fair, said her favorite performance of the day was from the Dineh Tah Navajo Dancers of Albuqerque. More than that, she was glad to see so many different cultures on display in the city park.

"It's so authentic," she said. "It impresses me and it inspires me."

Nearby in the park, a small car show running in tandem with the fair the past two decades held ground for any spectators still desiring an American automotive experience.

"Everybody likes to see the cars," said Jerry Bailer, Desert Cruzers Car Club President.

With 16 cars in this year's show, entries were fewer than in previous years but did not suffer for quality.

"Last year we had a whole lot more cars, but at least nothing out here is a piece of junk," said Don Sumner, in town from Fort Sumner.

The same might be said for this year's Ethnic Fair size - turnout appeared to be a bit lower than normal, but the crowd gave every indication of enjoying itself. During the "Spirit of the Drums & Dance" performance by the Agalu Cultural Troupe of Nigeria, one of the last events of the day, there was a full audience around the stage and in the bleachers.

"We do have differences but we are all the same - especially when you get together," said Virginia Byrd, a longtime fair organizer. "These days unity is one of the things we focus on, because the worlds needs it and Clovis needs it."


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