CNJ staff photo: Kevin Wilson Jim Shirley gets his calf in position to tie it down during Saturday action at the Joe’s Boot Shop calf roping competition at the Curry County Events Center. Shirley posted a time of 10.14.
From kites to bikes to football to fiestas, from high winds to high honors, Saturday was one of the busier ones Clovis will see in 2011.
The day started with wind for the Cannon Kite Karnival at Doc Stewart Park, and ended with a win for the Curry County Cats at Leon Williams Stadium — and drew fans in the middle with the inaugural Downtown Wind Festival.
Here’s a blow-by-blow account of the day:
• The eighth annual Cannon Air Force Base Kite Karnival drew about 400 people to Doc Stewart Park.
Community Center Director Paul Hopkins said center staff gave away about 200 T-shirts, 200 kites and helped children decorate their own 60 kites. The Karnival drew an annual appearance of Dennis Ware, a member of the American Kitefliers Association in Roswell. As usual, he brought with him large and rare kites, this time including a rokkaku kite with a bird on its face. A rokkaku kite is a six-sided Japanese fighter kite, Ware said. Japanese villages compete against each other with them.
• When the Karnival ended at 4 p.m., Clovis MainStreet sought residents to move the windy fun to downtown for what staff hopes will be an annual event.
“Today is a perfect day (for the festival),” Clovis Mayor Gayla Brumfield said. “It’s a great time to celebrate our wind.”
Six teams showed up for the main event, the Pedal ARTitude rally, a kinetic vehicle race. All racers got a trophy of some division for riding their modified bicycles through a path along Main Street, throwing water balloons at a target and rolling into a finish line of sand — but not before they announced with a sock puppet why they loved Clovis.
“It’s a big-city feeling in a small town,” said competitor David Walker, who has been in Clovis for two years.
• For those in it for the long haul, the Our Lady of Guadalupe Fiesta went on from 10 a.m. to 11 p.m. — starting with a youth show and ending with a dance.
Ben Salazar, spokesman for the church, said it is the church’s biggest fundraiser. The goal was to exceed $19,000 raised last year.
• The Curry County Fairgrounds had the places to be if you were interested in rodeo events. The roping continued Saturday at the Curry County Events Center, where hundreds competed in Joe’s Boot Shop Calf Roping. The event continues Sunday with the open event.
Younger rodeoers also got in on the action just east, at the Curry County Mounted Patrol Arena. The arena played host to a New Mexico High School rodeo. The event was a one of numerous events throughout the year where high schoolers could pick up points for a shot at the National High School Finals Rodeo.
Many of Saturday’s competitors will return June 8-12 for the state finals, also in Clovis.
• For a more formal evening, about 170 people attended the 2011 Clovis High School Hall of Honor banquet, including inductees and their families. The inductees were Randy Harris, 1974 CHS graduate, in the Business and Industry category, Brig. Gen. Ben Robinson, 1965 CHS graduate, in the Government and Service Category, John Harris, 1973 CHS graduate, in the Sports and Entertainment category, Norman Petty and Vi Brady Petty, 1945 CHS graduate and 1946 respective, awarded posthumously in the Sports and Entertainment category, and Norvil Howell was awarded the Top Cat Award.
The inductees are nominated and inducted each year through the Clovis Municipal Schools Foundation and Alumni Association.
• The night closed with the Curry County Cats’ Premier League playoff opener, a 13-6 win over the Las Cruces Kings.
Manuel Robles tied matters with a 38-yard touchdown reception, and the Cats took the lead when Morris Sharpe recovered a loose ball in the end zone on the ensuing kickoff. The Cats move on to face the Albuquerque Titans next week. See more on the Cats’ victory in today’s sports section.