Jul 09, 2020

Volunteers make clovis rodeo go round and round

The 101st annual Clovis Rodeo attracted thousands to the three-day event this weekend, bringing together volunteers festival goers for the Valley tradition.

“It’s a long tradition of bringing an event to Clovis, California,” said board director Ron Dunbar. “The goal for us and our association is to give back to the community.”

Dunbar said he is one of 18 board directors for the Clovis Rodeo and works with the cowboys in the bucking chutes. Born in 1961, Dunbar said he has never missed a rodeo. He said he was 3 months old when he visited his first rodeo, and it has been an integral part of his life since.

“I’m just one of many who got the same story,” Dunbar said. “It’s a lifetime of commitment and worth, and we do it. It’s the right thing to do for the community.”

Dunbar said that the Clovis Rodeo has close to 200 volunteers who have spent hundreds and hundreds of hours preparing for the rodeo.

“We’re all volunteers,” Dunbar said. “It takes a special group to be involved and do it for nothing, but it’s the satisfaction at the end of the day, seeing 7,500 people in your stands, and they’re clapping and smiling and having a great time. So that’s our satisfaction at the end of the day.”

Briana Menard, Dunbar’s daughter, said she has carried on the family tradition from her parents of participating and attending the Clovis Rodeo.

Like her father, Menard said she has been attending the rodeo before she could even walk. She now volunteers at the rodeo alongside her father and husband.

“I was born in January, so I think I was at my first rodeo when I was 4 months old,” she said.

Her son, who was born on April 21, 2014, was at his first rodeo four days later.

“It’s a good family event,” Menard said. “It’s a good way for everybody to come together. Even if you only see people once a year, you know you’ll always see them at the rodeo.”

“I just see the rodeo getting bigger and bigger. Younger generations are continuing the trend, and it just really continues to grow and grow,” she said.

Menard’s friend, Mandy Bower, and her husband also volunteer for the rodeo.

“It’s really important to me, because I feel it brings our entire community together on one weekend, and everybody celebrates our love for the country and the rodeo,” Bower said.

“For me, it’s family. My entire family does it, my husband’s side, so it brings us all together, and it’s a common thing that we all do.”

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