We've said it for years but thanks to True West magazine, we have verification. Amarillo is one of the 2015 Top 10 True Western towns. In fact, Amarillo is #4. As publisher Bob Boze Bell explains, "Amarillo is a cowboy town, pure and simple. Not just the cowboys of the past but of the present as well." The magazine cited many items for the ranking, including the Coors Cowboy Club Ranch Rodeo (and its Polk St. Cattle Drive); the WRCA World Championship Ranch Rodeo (see its anniversary, below); the American Quarter Horse Hall of Fame & Museum (and its celebration of the National Day of the Cowboy); the Kwahadi Museum of the American Indian and the Kwahadi Indian Dancers (see its anniversary below); and nearby Palo Duro Canyon State Park.
See the complete True West rankings here- www.truewestmagazine.com.
It is TEXAS' 50th anniversary. The outdoor musical drama TEXAS, the official play of the state, has been seen by over 4 million people! It is the story of the Texas Panhandle in the late 1800s and includes the ups and downs of everyday life. It is performed Tuesday-Sunday from early June to mid-August in the Pioneer Amphitheatre in Palo Duro Canyon State Park, named one of the country's best outdoor venues. Special events will be planned throughout the summer. Contact is Kris Miller at 806-655-2181. www.texas-show.com
It is the 75th anniversary of the American Quarter Horse Association. No horse means more to the history of the U.S. than the American Quarter Horse. It is the horse that settled the West. There is no better time to visit the American Quarter Horse Hall of Fame & Museum in Amarillo and learn the story of this beautiful breed. Museum contact is Melissa Loftin at 806-376-5181. www.aqha.com/museum
The World Championship Ranch Rodeo's 20th anniversary is Nov. 12-15, 2015. This is the real deal. Cowboys from across the U.S. and frequently from Canada gather in Amarillo for bragging rights and good fun. It features a top-notch ranch rodeo, a great trade show, cowboy music, cowboy art, cowboy church...in fact anything that is cowboy. Contact is Mandy Morton at 806-374-9722. www.wrca.org
The Kwahadi Dancers will perform their 50th anniversary Winter Night Ceremonials in Feb. 2015. The Kwahadis started as a part of the local Boy Scout organization and have performed around the world. The Winter Night Ceremonials were the very first series of dances and performances for this group. Contact is Charles Ritchie at 806-335-3175. www.kwahadi.com
The Amarillo Zoo is 60 in 2015. Located in Thompson Park, next to Wonderland Amusement Park, the Zoo has seen great growth and expansion in the past 10 years. To help celebrate, the zoo is looking for photos from the 1950s to the 1990s for their archives. If you have a photo and memory to share, e-mail the zoo's visitor services or call 806-381-5605.
The Amarillo Chamber of Commerce Goodtimes Celebration Barbecue Cook Off has its 20th anniversary Sept. 10, 2015. It is the largest barbecue cook off in the Texas Panhandle, attracting over 100 cooking teams and nearly 8,000 eager barbecue fans. Contact is Penni Bentley at 806-373-7800. www.amarillo-chamber.org