Ethnic fair hosts new events

Most years, the lineup for the annual Clovis Ethnic Fair changes little, as the performers, volunteers and educators always plan to come back.

CNJ staff photo: Tony Bullocks

Anna Watkins, 13, left, and her sister Maria Watkins, 12, both of Waco, Texas, take part in the Batik and tie dye" workshop Tuesday at Roy Walker Community Center during the 21st Annual Clovis/Curry county 2012 Ethnic Fair. Akeem Ayanniyi of Santa Fe, right, shows them how to apply the wax. The Watkins sisters were in town to visit their grandparents, Wayne and Teresa Kilgore of Clovis, who thought it would be something special to do with the girls.

But a trip across the Atlantic Ocean had a way of changing things, and this year's running of the fair is at least slightly different.

This year's fair, set for Saturday at Hillcrest Park, features most of the same things as prior fairs — among them the music group Agalu, the New Mexico Society of Buffalo Soldiers, a car show, a fun run and a health fair.

But more than a dozen representatives from the Zambian city of Kasama, and a desire to take advantage of new features at Hillcrest Park, has moved the time and place of the fair, produced by the city's Ethnic Affairs Committee.

Members of a delegation from Kasama, which joined with Clovis this February in a cultural exchange effort called "twinning," had planned to be in New Mexico for a series of other events this week. That, Committee Chair Selmus Price said, led to the change in timing for the fair — which has a stated goal of enlightening knowledge and views about other cultures.

The delegation includes Kasama's mayor, town clerk, finance director, planning director and others. Coming as well is a band featuring Maureen Lupo Llanda, a four-time winner of Zambia's National Arts Council Ngoma awards for best female artists.

The delegation has a busy Saturday, with the ethnic fair, a twinning celebration 6 p.m. at former Mayor Gayla Brumfield's house, and an afternoon trip to the High Plains Junior Rodeo Finals.

"Some of them have not been to America," Clovis Community Development Director Claire Burroughes said, "and probably not any of them have ever seen a rodeo."

The group is also scheduled to receive a key to the city from Mayor David Lansford during a Friday lunch at Juanito's.

Other functions include tours of the county, Clovis Municipal Schools and city departments before their Monday departure.

Price said he expects having the delegation, and new features at Hillcrest Park, will help attendance for the event, which had previously been held on Main Street. Features of the fair include:

  • Free admission to the splash pad and the zoo during the ethnic fair
  • A pair of drawings for bicycles by MECA Therapies, which is part of the health fair. The fair, and United Blood Services, have been part of the event since 1997, Price said.
  • A 3 p.m. talent show. Price said about eight people had registered for the talent show so far, but most entries are usually turned in the final days leading up to the event.
  • A car show.
  • An 8:30 a.m. fun run starting at 14th and Main streets
  • Workshops through Thursday at the Roy Walker Recreation Center. The 10 a.m. and 5:30 p.m. workshops are for drumming and tie-dying.
  • Navajo and Flamenco dance groups.

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