By Tony Gutierrez: CNJ staff writer
Local dairy farmers will sponsor the first Greene Acres Boat Race this afternoon as part of the city’s Fourth of July activities.
The race is a part of a fund-raiser for the Matt 25 Hope Center. Coordinator Kent Ware said $80,000 has been raised from entry fees and other donations.
“I knew it could be a great opportunity for the dairy industry to give back to the community,” Ware said.
The race is limited to local dairies this year, but may open to other business in the future, Ware said. Area dairies are sponsoring 15 teams. Ware’s team is made up of his son’s swim team at Clovis High School.
“We’d done the charity auction two years ago, and it was a huge success, but we didn’t feel like we wanted to do an auction again,” Ware said.
All teams were provided with a 12-foot aluminum jonboat to tweak. The rules don’t allow electric motors or combustion engines, but Ware said rumors are one team has a nitrogen engine.
“These guys are pretty creative,” he said.
The race will begin at the south side of Greene Acres with up to seven team members carrying the boat 50 yards before reaching the water. Once in the water, three members are allowed in the boat, and they go another 100 yards. On the north side of the lake, one teammate will get out of the boat and run 10 yards to a timing flag.
“It’s for a great cause and it seems like a fun, entertaining thing to do on the Fourth of July,” said Ware’s son, Miles. “What better group of guys to ask than my teammates. We already got the team mentality worked out.”
The race begins at 2 p.m. and the championship race is at 6 p.m.
Ware said the race may not always be on Independence Day in the future.
Other activities at Greene Acres Park include the fireworks display sponsored by the Clovis Chamber of Commerce. Gary Caimano of Western Enterprise designed parts of the show.
“Every song has a different feel to it,” Caimano said. “James Brown’s ‘Living in America’ will have a lot more to it.”
Caimano said in honor of the city’s centennial, the final fireworks will display a ‘100’ if weather allows.
Fourth of July activities
Clovis (Greene Acres Park)
2-6 p.m.: Greene Acres Boat Races
4:30-8:30 p.m.: Live music from the Kene Terry Band and Fun Brothers Band.
8:30 p.m.: 100-person Clovis Community Choir performance leading into fireworks display
Melrose (Melrose High School football field)
6 p.m.: Cookout with hotdogs and hamburgers; candy bags for children
Sunset: Fireworks display
Fort Sumner (Lake Sumner)
9 p.m.: Fireworks display
Portales (Greyhound Arena)
3 p.m.: Live music, barbecue and family activities
Sunset: Fireworks display
10 a.m.: Parade down Main Street
10:30 a.m.: Cobbler contest and kiddie games, Chamber of Commerce office
2-9 p.m.: MulePutt Golf at the Heritage Center
7:30 p.m.: Cowpatty Bingo fund-raiser, City Park
7-10 p.m.: Live bands, City Park
10 p.m.: Fireworks display, City Park