Cultural entertainment walks, jousts and stomps its way to Clovis in Prairiedoggapalooza

By Leslie Radford: Freedom Newspapers

Local bands, medieval jousting, a community 5K run/walk and an ethnic dance group are on the list of entertainment at this year’s Prairiedoggapalooza.
The fourth annual Clovis Community College festival April 23 will feature The Rhythm Cartel, a fraternal stepping group from the University of New Mexico.
Noudjal Gamaugoun, an original member of the group that began at UNM in 1999, said “stepping” originated during the World War II era, coming to America via Africa.
“Stepping is using the body to create rhythms,” she said. “It started in the 1940s as a black fraternity. Blacks would go to Africa and bring back (to America) these cultural dances and get together to perform. It was a way to unite people and educate them about their heritage. People like to compare us to the group Stomp, but we’re nothing like that, really.”
CCC Director of Ethnic Affairs LaTanya Lowery said the group will perform for about 40 minutes at 1 p.m.
Gamaugoun said Clovis will probably be her last performance with The Rhythm Cartel. She’s graduating from UNM and moving to Philadelphia. She said she’ll miss performing.
“It’s a high energy performance that gets the crowd pepped up. It’s just so much fun,” Gamaugoun said.
The all-day festival also includes a 5k run/walk at 8 a.m., a Senior Stroll at 9 a.m. and the music festival from 10 a.m. to 7 p.m. A flea market will also be on campus that day.
SCA, a medieval jousting group, will enact a medieval joust later in the afternoon according to Prairiedoggapalooza coordinator Shelly Flygare.
Flygare, Career Services Coordinator at CCC, said “there will be plenty entertainment for the kids.”
Concessions and various vendors will host booths on campus throughout the day as well.
All events are free except for the 5k run/walk which $5 for students, $7 for non-students, and $10 the day of the race.