Ethnic fair in 20th year

File photo Everette Sage, a 2008 performer with the Dineh Tah’ Navajo Dancers, was one of four Navajo dancers to perform the bow and arrow dance at the Ethnic Fair on Clovis’ Main Street. The dance group from Albuquerque is again one of the entertainment acts slated for this year’s fair.

Kevin Wilson

In 1992, Jay Leno took over “The Tonight Show” from Johnny Carson, “Silence of the Lambs” took the Best Picture Oscar and the “Unforgettable” duet with Natalie and Nat King Cole was a big winner at the Grammy Awards.

Meanwhile, in Clovis, a group of citizens was putting together a little festival to display their own culture and entertainment.

Today, the Clovis Ethnic Fair is 20 years strong, with a lineup that has residents running in the morning, singing and dancing in the day and learning throughout the week.

Selmus Price, Clovis Cultural and Ethnic Affairs Committee chairman, said there was never a hope to get to any number of annual fairs, but just to keep it alive and worthwhile.

“It was really one of our hopes to continue it,” Price said. “It’s been really a big blessing. A lot of it has to do with our participants. They look forward to it every year.”

The lion’s share of the fair takes place Saturday on the 400 and 500 blocks of Main Street. Starting Monday, there are daily 10 a.m. and 5:30 p.m. educational sessions at the Roy Walker Community Center.

The lineup is mainly unchanged from years past, with the Flamenco Nuevo Mexico dance group, Nigerian band Agalu and the New Mexico Society of Buffalo Soldiers.

“The main aspect is really the different cultures,” Price said. “That’s one of our main objectives. It’s bringing different cultures from within the community and around the state and sharing that culture with others. It’s a learning process; that’s our hope.”

Saturday’s events begin with an 8:30 a.m. fun run/walk and a car show that runs until 3 p.m. Most of the events begin at 10 a.m., including art and craft booths, a health care fair and a United Blood Services blood drive.

“We started including the health fair, that’s one of the major things that confronts us in our daily lives,” Price said. “We wanted to bring those things in for the community to be able to gain some information to help their families.”

The event that gets more popular every year, Price said, is the 3 p.m. talent show.