It’s a Perfect time to Visit the New Old Town ClovisApr 29, 2019 11:00AM ● By Kayla Anderson
Old is New Again
Story by Kayla Anderson
Photos by Dakota Lynn Photography
and Photos courtesy of Old Town Clovis
OLD TOWN CLOVIS is booming with fun events that bring the community together, such as the Friday evening farmers markets, Glorious Junk Days, North American Pole Vault Championships and more.
The rejuvenation of Old Town, the family-like feel and Clovis’ reputation for top-notch schools are some of the reasons why Sanger native and Business Organization of Old Town Clovis Executive Director Carole Lester moved back to the San Joaquin Valley.
Many new businesses have come flooding in as people yearn to get property close to downtown, and more than 40 annual community events bring together friends, family and good times. In 2010, Lester became involved in the business organization and has watched the town start to thrive.
“The Centennial Plaza used to be a dirt parking lot for the DMV, so it’s a dramatic improvement,” Lester says of the space on corner of Bullard and Pollasky. Within thesame block, House of JuJu and The Foundry Collective are popular places to shop and dine.
All along Pollasky, places like Brick & Mortar, Revival 23 and Rodeo Coffee Shop also add to the rejuvenation of Old Town. In total there are at least 17 restaurants, three ice cream parlors and several coffee shops sprinkled in amongst boutiques, galleries, and decades-old antique shops and dining staples.
New restaurants such as Trelio, The Local and The Bottleneck Bistro mingle with tried-and-true favorites such as Salsa’s Cantina, Luna Pizzeria & Italian and Blast & Brew.
“It’s great because there’s a lot of variety, and places like House of JuJu and Blast & Brew anchor the new Centennial Plaza,” Lester adds. As the summer months come around, it’s common to see people sitting outside and catching the rays enjoying live music. Space in Old Town Clovis is getting so popular that businesses are vying to get in.
“We get five or six calls a week from businesses trying to move into Old Town; it’s a long waiting list,” she adds. However, some businesses aren’t budging – many of the antique stores have been there for at least 20 years; classics such as Sassano’s Men’s Wear have been in Clovis since 1932.
The farmers markets, wine walks and pistachio parties have also added to Old Town’s popularity, bringing in thousands of people each week during the summer.
“We hold 21 nights of farmers markets and about 5,000 people come on an average night,” Lester says about the Friday evening summertime events held on Pollasky from 5:30-9pm between May and September. On big nights with well-known classic rock cover bands, Celtic, blues and country acts, anywhere from 8,000 to 12,000 people may attend.
“The farmers market used to be one block long; now it’s four blocks long,” she says. Each event has well over 100 vendors selling produce, hot food items and local handcrafted items including jewelry, wooden bowls, pottery and even magic wands. The farmers market has become so popular that they added a Saturday morning version.
Other special events include wine walks, antique shows, car shows, craft beer crawls, an elegant farm-to-table dinner and a lot going on around Christmas, but personally Lester enjoys the live concerts and end-of-the summer Pistachio Party, also the last farmers market of the season.
“The American Pistachio Growers and Wawona Frozen Foods are big sponsors of it and it’s a way to educate people on food grown right in the valley,” says Lester. Chefs from the Institute of Technology Culinary Academy host food sampling events, and people can come celebrate everything pistachio.
So, no matter if you’re just visiting Clovis or have lived there for years, it’s worth visiting the new, exciting shops, restaurants and fun for the whole family in the renovated, fresh and lovely Old Town Clovis. •
Old Town Farmers Markets, Saturday 9AM-11:30AM
Friday’s May-September 5:30PM-9PM
Saturdays Year Round
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