CNJ Staff Photo: Gabriel Monte John Mueller performs as Buddy Holly during Friday’s Buddy, Roy and Elvis tribute show at the Clovis Civic Center as part of the the Clovis Music Festival.
By Gabriel Monte: CNJ staff writer
Old-fashioned cherry lime drinks were popular once again last week at the Foxy Drive-In as thousands flocked to Clovis Music Festival.
The one-time hangout of Buddy Holly when he was recording in Clovis was a hot spot for festival attendees who toured the Norman Petty Studios and brought a sense of nostalgia along with their appetites.
“We were here back in the Buddy Holly days, back in that time of the oldies and everything and I think people relate to us a lot to that era,” Foxy Drive-In owner Chris Bryant said.
Bryant said his Seventh-Street eatery usually serves cherry lime drinks made with a Sprite or 7-Up. However, “the old cherry lime was made with carbonated water, and most people don’t know that.”
“We heard a lot of it (ordered),” he said. “And we made it exactly that way.”
The Foxy wasn’t the only Clovis businesses to feel the impact of the three-day Clovis Music Festival, which drew about 5,000 people, according to festival organizer Liz Eisenbraun.
Clovis Chamber of Commerce director Ernie Kos said about 300 people came from abroad. Some of them visited Foxy’s.
“We saw a lot of new faces, saw a lot of people that you know they aren’t from Clovis, you knew they are from somewhere else,” Bryant said.
Festival attendance was the highest in the three years since its revival, Eisenbraun said.
“It’s fantastic, we definitely succeeded,” she said. “This is our third year bringing it back and it’s getting bigger.”
Most hotels were booked days before the event.
“We’re pretty well booked,” La Quinta Inn general manager Aaron Goldman said the Monday before the festival. “It’s pretty slim, but we’ve got a few rooms for the week.”
Clovis restaurants also saw a spike in customers.
Leal’s Mexican Food Restaurant owner Laura Leal said the music festival usually brings in more business every year.
“It brings a lot of people from all over the world here and I think its good for Clovis, for all the business here in town. I think it’s good exposure for everyone,” she said.
Events such as tours and a fan fair during the day helped drive more customers to the restaurants, Eisenbraun said.
Nightly concerts held at Clovis Civic Center remained the main attraction.
Eisenbraun said people were turned away from Thursday’s performance due to lack of seating.
“For next year, we’re trying to see how many more chairs we can squeeze into the Civic Center ’cause obviously the event’s growing and we don’t want to be turning people away,” she said.