Arts festival lights up downtown

Lincoln Jackson sixth-grade teacher Chris Harrell, dressed as Spike the Clown, juggles as he walks in Saturday’s 2003 Downtown Arts Festival Children’s Parade/Ethnic Fair Parade.

By Darrell Todd Maurina

Vintage cars, Scottish bagpipers, Hispanic and Native American dancers and music groups shared Clovis’ Main Street on Friday and Saturday with handmade crafts and artists painting street scenes.
This was the 12th year for Clovis’ downtown ethnic festival, the eighth year for its car show, and third year for its art show. Larry Ervin, board member of the Clovis Downtown Revitalization Project, said he was glad the groups decided to get together this year.
“This time last year, this place was empty, and now it’s full,” Ervin said on Saturday afternoon. “The art show helped the ethnic festival, and the ethnic festival helped the art show. It gets people down here who don’t always come downtown.”
Catherine Johnson, the CDRP executive director, said the arts festival is designed as a fund-raiser for Clovis downtown revitalization, but also helps showcase the many small arts and crafts stores downtown.
Johnson, who spent six years in Europe with the Red Cross while her husband was stationed overseas in the Air Force, said she enjoyed being able to visit museums in Paris, Amsterdam, and Venice and now is gaining an appreciation of the traditional culture of the American Southwest.
“Art is a reflection of someone’s culture, and how better to reflect the culture of our area than to do it in downtown, which is the heart of our city,” Johnson said. “It’s been a real wonderful blend (of art); we want to highlight that downtown is alive and vital. A lot of small businesses are open, and many of them are related to art.”