Day full of dairy

CNJ staff photo: Gabriel Monte Angelica Martinez, 6, tries to rope a plastic calf Saturday at a calf-roping booth at the second annual DairyFest held by the United Dairy Women at the Clovis Civic Center.

By Gabriel Monte: CNJ staff writer

Angelica Martinez aimed her lasso carefully before throwing it this time. The 6-year-old’s family cheered as she finally caught the elusive plastic calf.

The United Dairy Women held their second annual DairyFest Saturday at the Clovis Civic Center. About 50 booths lined the center’s parking lot offering games and information about the dairy industry.

“This is an opportunity for anyone with any questions about dairy products (to learn about them),” said United Dairy Women president Michelle Heavyside.

Juan Martinez, Angelica’s father, said they drove from Friona to come to the fest.

“We came here to see what it was all about,” he said.

Heavyside said she expected this year’s attendance to reach last year’s numbers. About 5,000 people attended the first DairyFest at the Curry County Fairgrounds last year, she said.

“It’s a time to celebrate the dairy industry and the people that make it possible for the great bounty of dairy products we have today,” she said. “The groovy thing about this is, it’s something for the entire family.”

A $1 ticket gave people access not only to the fun and music but also to a variety of dairy products such as cheese, milk, ice cream and yogurt as well as hamburgers. Heavyside said about 100 businesses donated their products and services to the event.

Civic center general manager Neil McMullin said this is the biggest event the center has had since the Badlands Motorcycle Rally last year.

“This stretches us a bit … but we’re able to accommodate,” said McMullin.

Headlining the evening’s activities was country singer Lee Roy Parnell.

Lucy Fritz, 15, of Clovis said she enjoyed the music.

“I liked pretending that I knew how to dance,” she said laughing.

Aaron Villalobos said he enjoyed seeing the cow-milking booth. But the Clovis 13-year-old found something he enjoyed looking at more. “The girls,” he said.

Heavyside said about 200 people volunteered at the event.

“It’s heart-warming and incredible how many people came to help,” she said.