Celebrating a pioneering past

The 43rd annual Pioneer Days celebration is upon us, and the city is gearing up for a week full of old-fashioned fun.

CNJ staff photo: Tony Bullocks

Sydney Pipkins, 5, gets some advice Saturday from her grandfather, Mike Leatherwood, center, and mother Shana Pipkin before she and her horse Mona start their pattern at the Mounted Patrol Arena. Sydney is competing for 2013 Miss Buckaroo Princess.

Events kicked off Saturday with the Pioneer Days Rodeo Queen Pageant, and will continue through next Sunday with the Little Buckaroo Rodeo, the PRCA Rodeo, the 6th Annual Duke of Dutch Ovens Chuck Wagon Cook-Off and the crowning of the 2013 Miss Rodeo New Mexico, to name a few.

What's in a name?

In a nod to the railroad engineers who helped found Clovis, the theme of this year's Pioneer Days is "Honoring BNSF: Clovis' Original Pioneers."

The Santa Fe Railway began transcontinental service through what is now Clovis in 1907, and the city was officially incorporated two years later in 1909.

New kid in town

In addition to the rodeos, pageants and parade, this year's celebration will include the Saddle Up 5K fun run and walk. It will be held on Saturday, June 8 at 7 a.m., and proceeds will benefit the Food Bank of Eastern New Mexico.

"It is our 30th anniversary this year," said Dianna Hernandez, marketing specialist for the food bank. "We wanted to celebrate our history in eastern New Mexico along with Clovis' heritage."

Registration is $30 and participants can visit www.fbenm.org to sign up online. Registration the day of the race begins at 6 a.m. at Main and Grand Streets and is $30, or $25 with five cans of food.

The original Clovis pioneers

Clayton Reed

One of the first settlers in Clovis, Reed sold land to the Santa Fe Railway in 1906 that eventually became the original townsite. Reed was a farmer, dairy owner and Realtor, and passed away in 1971 at the age of 90.

John Barry

Barry came to Clovis in 1907 from Atchison, Kan., and opened a hardware store with his brother Henry.

The original store at 200 Main Street was destroyed by fire in 1908, but was quickly rebuilt at 401 Main Street and stayed in business until January 2000.

James Bickley

Originally from Tennessee, Bickley moved to Clovis in 1907 and was elected county school superintendent in 1916. He was named superintendent of Clovis' public schools in 1921, and remained in the position until his retirement in 1945.

By the numbers

5: Number of churches known to exist in Clovis in 1907. The city has over 50 churches today.

3,255: Population of Clovis reported in the 1910 Census. One hundred years later, the 2010 Census reported a population of 37,775.

7: Number of newspapers known to exist in the first 15 years of Clovis' history. The Clovis News and The Clovis Journal merged in 1929 to form the Clovis News Journal.

23: Number of blocks that Clovis encompassed in 1907. The town went east and west from Thornton to Prince, and north and south from Brady Avenue to Seventh Street.

13,000: Estimated number of years since man first appeared in the Clovis area. The Blackwater Draw Site, located 14 miles southwest of Clovis, was discovered in 1929 and contains evidence of the early human occupation.

Full event schedule


5 p.m.

Little Buckaroo Rodeo

Mutton Bustin' entries deadline

Curry County Events Center

LBR Foot and Horse Events, Entry 3:30 p.m.


6 p.m.

Curry County Mounted Patrol Team Roping

Curry County Events Center


4 p.m.

Miss Rodeo New Mexico Pageant Registration

Pageant Headquarters, Days Inn & Suites


8 a.m.

MRNM Horsemanship Competition

Curry County Events Center

11:30 a.m.

Rodeo Barbecue Kickoff at Bender Dodge (open to the public). Pioneer Days Royalty, Miss Rodeo New Mexico, Miss Rodeo America, Miss Rodeo Arizona and others

5:15 p.m.

Mayor's Proclamation – City Commission Meeting

North Annex of the Library

7 p.m.

Miss Rodeo New Mexico Gala Silent/Live Auction and Dinner – Doors open at 5 p.m. – Central Baptist Church, Bridge Building, 2501 North Norris St.


7 a.m.

12th Annual Pioneer Women Breakfast – Clovis Civic Center, 801 Schepps Blvd.

Sponsored by Plateau

All local Pioneer Women are welcome to attend.

Vintage fashions from the last century encouraged.

8 a.m.

Steer Roping slack – Curry County Events Center

9:30 a.m.

Rodeo Queens & Bullfighter/Clowns

Annual Tour of area nursing homes & PRMC

1 p.m.

Miss Rodeo New Mexico Fashion Show, Speech,

Coronation – CCC Town Hall

$10 admission, open to the public

6:30 p.m.

Miss Rodeo New Mexico Pageant announcement

of Royalty 2013. Curry County Events Center

7:30 p.m.

43rd Annual PRCA Rodeo-Curry County Events Center

Following Rodeo:

Pioneer Days Rodeo Barrel Racing Slack

June 8

6 a.m. Registration with 7 a.m. start

"Saddle Up" Food Bank 5K

1st annual 5K fun run with proceeds benefiting the Food Bank of Eastern New Mexico

10 a.m.

43rd Annual Pioneer Parade – Main Street

Parade Theme: Honoring BNSF: Clovis' Original Pioneers

12:30 p.m.

6th Annual Duke of Dutch Ovens Chuck Wagon

Cook-Off @ Curry County Fairgrounds

Purchase tickets in advance -Tickets $20

7:30 p.m.

43rd Annual PRCA Rodeo and Local Team Roping

Bonus Round- Curry County Events Center

Tough Enough to Wear Pink to support women's breast cancer awareness

Following Rodeo:

Pioneer Days Rodeo Timed Events Slack

June 9

11:30 a.m.

Cowboy Church Curry County Events Center

2 p.m.

43rd Annual PRCA Rodeo Matinee

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