Fresno's Most Epic Events
By MEGAN EILEEN McDONOUGH
Spring has sprung, and in Fresno County, the year’s major events are just getting started. From action-packed rodeos and live musical performances to handmade artisan crafts and over-the-top hats, April is full of culture and curiosity, making it an excellent time of year for your family vacation, company meeting or retreat. Here’s a sneak peek at what’s to come.
When: April 3-24, 2016
Where: Clovis Rodeo Grounds
Spring forward with a ticket to the 102nd Clovis Rodeo. The rodeo season kicks off on April 3 with Jackpot Roping and concludes with the Rodeo Performance on Sunday, April 24, with concerts and parades in between. This year is especially exciting, as Clovis Rodeo is one of only seven Wrangler Gold Tour Rodeos taking place in the world.
Be prepared: You're in for a wild ride! In an effort to attract the top competitors, Clovis Rodeo has upped its 2016 prize money from $20,000 to a whopping $40,000. If the rodeo itself isn't thrilling enough for you, there's plenty of live music to keep you entertained. Jerrod Niemann and LOCASH are already slated to perform.
Big Hat Days
When: April 2-3, 2016
Where: Old Town Clovis
Get your biggest, most decadent hat at the ready for the Big Hat Days! Taking place the first weekend in April, the Clovis Chamber Event is expecting to pull big numbers. As the largest two-day festival in Central California, roughly 125,000 people will fill the streets in merriment.
Wander along 15 blocks in Old Town, eating and drinking as you go. To satisfy your sweet tooth, stop along Pollasky Avenue for kettle corn, chocolate-covered treats or refreshing shaved ice. If you’ve got spicy food on the brain, head straight to Bullard Food Court, where you'll find barbecue, Mexican fare and corn dogs galore.
Families might want to stop by Fourth Street for a pony ride with Happy Day Pony Rides, a family-run company that has been around since 1961. There’s also the Great American Petting Zoo set up on Seventh Street, where kids (and kids at heart) can get up close and personal with their favorite furry friends.
When: April 15-17, 2016
Where: Fresno State
For a walk down memory lane, take part in Fresno State's largest student-planned event, Vintage Days. Every year, more than 50,000 people from Fresno and beyond flock to the campus for three fun-filled days of entertainment. Everything from game booths and food stands to live music and even a beer garden is within arm’s reach.
One of the weekend's highlights is the Crafts Faire, where hundreds of talented exhibitors showcase their handmade wares. Items range from delicate jewelry to children's toys and home decor. There’s no better place to shop for souvenirs.
The family-friendly festivities don't end there. There's also a Kid's Zone area where children can try their hand at a variety of clever crafts. Then, there’s the live music to consider. The roster is still being finalized, but based on previous years, it’s going to be instrument heavy, with local acts dominating the stage.
Visit Fresno County, California’s year-round playground!