SELMA – Boot Barn has opened a new store in Selma at 3390 Floral Ave. and hosted a ribbon-cutting to mark the occasion on Oct. 20.

Selma District Chamber of Commerce President Char Tucker welcomed the Western clothing store to town by presenting store manager Kaela Tharp with a certificate and chamber membership plaque.

Tharp says she likes the Western style of clothing at the store but it’s the work boots that seem to be the biggest draw.

“Customers are coming in for our work boots. That’s probably what they’re most excited about – the work boots and the work wear right now. We also have men’s, women’s and kids’ western boots.”

Ken Meany founded the company in 1978 in Huntington Beach and the business now boasts more than 200 stores in 29 states. Aside from boots, the store carries hats, jeans, gifts and home décor.

Chamber Executive Director Bob Allen said he was surprised at the variety of merchandise available at the store.

“We’re absolutely overwhelmed by this store and all the products. I used to think Boot Barn was always just a place you bought boots. The amount and style of clothes is just absolutely gorgeous. Everybody needs to come in and find out they’re more than just about boots. We’re so happy to have them here in Selma,” Allen said.

Before the official ribbon cutting at the store’s entryway, Tharp introduced the store’s district manager Rod Burgenger. He said he’s attended many store openings and has been overwhelmed by the customers’ response in town.

“The support the store’s been given already gives me chills. We set the store up in four days. From day one, we had people pulling on the doors to come in. The support’s been phenomenal,” Burgenger said. “We look forward to being a great community partner and building some great bonds.”

Tharp said prospective customers can listen for their radio ads and see specials in the fliers mailed out to residences for the grand opening.

“We’ve been open since [Oct. 10] and people are just really happy that Boot Barn came to Selma. There’s one in Fresno and Tulare so this one is kind of right in the middle of that.”

Among residents browsing the store after the ribbon cutting was Raisin Festival Queen Sierra Shoemaker. She was shopping for outfits as she’d be attending an FFA National Convention soon and going to a Rascal Flatts concert and a rodeo.

“I was so excited when I heard Boot Barn was opening up I screamed. I love Boot Barn. This one is bigger than the one in Tulare. I’ve lived here my whole life and there was nothing like this. Now there are all these shops opening up. I’m so excited because I think Selma’s going big places. It’s part of our dream having stores like this.”

Hat wearers can also take advantage of a free service provided at the store. Hat specialist Mark Alcantar was on hand demonstrating how he uses steam to shape hats and says even if customers did not purchase their straw or felt hats at the store, he can clean and steam shape them free of charge. Hat brims can also be trimmed, he said.

“It’s just another service we provide,” Alcantar said.

City Manager Dave Elias thanked those in attendance for coming to the grand opening and says now customers won’t have to drive as far to shop for western attire.

“I have many friends in the area who are so thankful they now don’t have to drive to Tulare or in to North Fresno.”

The reporter can be reached at 583-2427 or