Ethnic Fair celebrates 17th year

CNJ staff photo: Liliana Castillo Everette Sage, with the Dineh Tah’ Navajo Dancers, was one of four Navajo dancers to perform the bow and arrow dance at the Ethnic Fair on Clovis’ Main Street. The dance group, from Albuquerque, was dressed in traditional Navajo garb.

By Gabriel Monte: Freedom New Mexico

Drum beats of Western Africa followed the drum beats of the Navajo dances and the rhythm of a Flamenco guitar during Saturday’s 17th annual Ethnic Fair.

Located on a blocked-off section of Main Street between Fourth and Sixth Streets, exhibitors set up booths displaying different cultures.

Between 400 to 500 people attended the event, according to fair organizer Selmus Price.

Rosa Soria said she and her family attend the fair every year. She said she was looking forward to a belly dancing exhibition included in the performance lineup.

“We usually spend all day here,” she said.

Price said the goal of the fair is to bring the community together through exposing people to various cultures.

“It’s a learning experience,” he said.

Also included in the event was a car show hosted by the Clovis Desert Cruzers Car Club. Club President Jerry Bailey said 35 cars were on display during the event.

Ruben Torres of Clovis won first place for his 1952 Buick. He said he enjoyed the Navajo Dancing exhibition, which he has seen in Albuquerque.

Roberta Trujillo of Portales said it was her first time attending an ethnic fair. She said her daughter, who lives in Clovis, brought the fair to her attention.

She said she was looking forward to watching the performances such as the West African drum exhibition by the Santa Fe-based, Agalu performers. Led by Akeem Ayanniyi, the group conducted drum workshops during the week before fair.

“I was excited to hear that we were going to be able to enjoy (different cultures),” Trujillo said.