100th annual Clovis Rodeo draws sold-out crowd

CLOVIS, Calif.

The Valley's cutest cowgirls and cowboys in training showed off their stuff to packed grandstands and energized crowds. Fans always flood the city for this very home-grown tradition.

"We come every year. We live in Old Town Clovis, and we love this community," said Amie Penning.

"My whole life as a small child my parents brought me here, and every year when I look at the grandstands going by Clovis Avenue it gives me that deep feeling of the history and the Western tradition," said Lamont Evans.

The 100th celebration showcased popular country music singers and world-class riders. A record-breaking 45,000 people attended this year. Organizers believe they come because this is one of the very best shows in town.

"We work really hard to make sure that we're top quality. We keep up with the sport of rodeo. We make sure our facilities are where cowboys want to come," said Chuck Rigsbee with the Clovis Rodeo Association.

Friday's downpour and muddy arena didn't dampen the crowd. By Saturday, the Fresno County Sheriff's Office pitched in with a helicopter so saddle bronc riders could do their thing on dry ground.

Many believe this place and this tradition is a way to honor our history while spending time with those we love.

"Well, I'm a farmer, and I want to be a cowboy kind of thing," said Bill Chandler.

"I just like the excitement, and I like spitting sunflower seeds into the rodeo place," said Taleen Samble.

Every year, the Clovis Rodeo Association gives back about $150,000 to charities in the area.

Next year's Clovis Rodeo kicks off on April 23. Early-bird tickets will go on sale this Monday.

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