Table Mountain Casino BIG Hat Days festivities were held over the weekend in Old Town Clovis
Photos by Katie Eleneke / The Collegian
Table Mountain Casino BIG Hat Days is a Clovis Chamber of Commerce event that continues to grow each year and is held in Old Town Clovis over a two day period in April.
Funnel cake, cinnamon rolls, asada fries, kettle corn or just a good old-fashioned corndog?
This was the dilemma for thousands of people walking the streets of Old Town Clovis over the weekend – being tempted left and right by the festivities of Big Hat Days.
Held on both Saturday and Sunday, Big Hat Days is Clovis’ largest two-day festival covering 11 blocks of Old Town Clovis.
The annual Clovis Chamber of Commerce event brings together the community like no other with its 350 craft, clothing and food stalls. Not to mention there was a carnival, live music and beer gardens.
Whether browsing, eating, drinking or people watching, Big Hat Days is the type of festival with something for everyone.
Kids pulled tantrums until their parents let them on carnival rides, young couples tried to win each other giant stuffed animals, and men stopped in their tracks, seduced by leather cowboy hats.
The clichés were all there, laughs and innocent fun included.
“If everyone’s looking to have a good time and enjoy good weather, it’s the place to be,” said 25-year-old Roman Cano, a security guard for the day.
A longtime resident of Clovis, Cano has been coming to Big Hat Days for years, but this year was his first working the “great family event.”
“It’s just a blast, people come here every year to make it part of their yearly regiment,” Cano said.
For those over 21 fancying a cold brew (or two, maybe three), the event had two beer gardens available. They offered a wide variety of beers from Budweiser to the finer crafted microbrews of Tioga Sequoia Brewing Company.
Away from main hustle and bustle of the stalls, onlookers had the chance to relax, dance and listen to bands throughout the day. All acts were from the Central Valley, including performances by Gray Horse, 82 Deluxe and Last Chance Saloon.
Clovis locals Molly Bertram, 26, and Kim Howard, 23, said they’ve been coming to Big Hat Days annually ever since they were young, and have always enjoyed the event regardless of their age.
“When you’re from Clovis, this is the event that you do,” Howard said.
Now as adults, the duo said these days they come for the social aspect of the beer gardens.
“We love the beer garden, that’s for sure!” Bertram said.
Fresno State sophomore Mariah Carrier said beyond the “delicious cinnamon rolls,” the attraction of Big Hat Days is its welcoming atmosphere.
“It’s really family orientated,” Carrier said. “You can go on a date here, or you can come with your whole family.”
Born and raised in Clovis, Carrier said she also enjoys being able to support people from the community.
“Local artists come so you can see a lot of small businesses which is really cool,” she said.