Play Here's Weekend Activity Picks for Aug. 5

Last Updated by Chip Chandler on
A competitor rides in the 2015 XIT Rodeo. This year's begins today.
XIT Rodeo / Facebook

By Chip Chandler — Digital Content Producer

Cops and firefighters face off, art fans walk, cowboys ride: It's a packed weekend, so check here for a roundup of activities to keep you moving.


XIT Rodeo & Reunion

XIT Rodeo & Reunion celebrates its 80th year this weekend.XIT Rodeo & Reunion celebrates its 80th year this weekend.XIT Rodeo / Facebook

Dalhart will be rocking with this weekend's celebration of the 80th annual XIT Rodeo & Reunion.

The event, which draws thousands to the northeast Panhandle town, celebrates what was once the largest fenced ranch in the world, which at one time ran more than 150,000 cattle. It was divided in the 1920s, and families who worked on the ranch began an annual reunion in 1936 that goes on to this day.

Activities begin today with an open house at the XIT Museum from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m., the Rodeo Queen contest at 1 p.m., the annual watermelon feed from 4 to 6 p.m., followed by Professional Rodeo Cowboys Association action at 7 p.m. in the XIT arena. Texas country singer Bri Bagwell will perform around 9 p.m. for a dance. Admission is $10 for the rodeo (free for children 12 and younger) and $10 for the dance.

Friday's activities include an open house at the museum, an antique tractor show from 1 to 6:30 p.m. at the arena, a free pork chop feed from 4 to 6 p.m. and the PRCA rodeo at 7 p.m.; rodeo admission is $10 for adults and $5 for children 3 to 12. Country star David Lee Murphy will perform at 9 p.m.; admission is $15.

The bulk of activities are scheduled for Saturday:

  • a 1 Mile Fun Run and 5K run ick off at 7 and 7:30 a.m.
  • the XIT Breakfast runs from 8 to 9:30 a.m. at the Senior Citizens Center
  • XIT Museum open house from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m.
  • XIT Reunion Arts & Crafts show from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. at Seventh Street Park
  • Parade down Denrock Avenue at 10 a.m.
  • Fiddlers Contest at noon at Rita Blanca Lake picnic pavilion 
  • Antique tractor show from 1 to 6 p.m. at the arena
  • Mud Bogs at 1:30 p.m. at the old KOA campground
  • World's Largest Free Barbecue from 4 to 6 p.m.
  • Queen's coronation at 6 p.m.
  • PRCA rodeo at 7 p.m.; admission is $10 adults and $5 ages 3 to 12
  • Dance featuring Stoney LaRue at 9 p.m.; admission is $20

Call 806-244-5646.


Discover! 4.0

Don Harrington Discovery Center will revive (for one year only) the annual Discover! outdoor party to celebrate the center's 40th anniversary..

Discover! 4.0 is set for 4 to 10 p.m. Saturday in and around the center, 1200 Streit Drive, and will feature children's activities, food vendors and science demonstrations, culminating in an outdoor laser show.

Partygoers can fly down a zip line, get their faces painted, play street hockey and more. Other activities include a dunking booth, derby races and arts and crafts. Food will range from pizza to burgers to street tacos to fair food. The evening culminates in an outdoor laser light show set to music.

The center itself will be open, too, for celebrants to check out its hands-on exhibitions and the Space Theater in an air-conditioned environment.

Admission is $3 for ages 2 and older.

Parking is available in fields around the center.


Boots vs. Badges

The ninth annual Boots vs. Badges charity softball game is Saturday.The ninth annual Boots vs. Badges charity softball game is Saturday.Coffee Memorial Blood Center

Amarillo cops and firefighters will face off on the softball diamond Saturday at the ninth annual Boots vs. Badges game.

The game — part of the summer Boots vs. Badges blood drive for Coffee Memorial Blood Center — begins at 7:05 p.m. Saturday at Texas AirHogs Stadium, 3303 S.E. Third Ave. Tickets are $5.

Opening pitches will be thrown by Nick Ortiz and daughter Elena and Sean Marrufo and mom Jalee. Ortiz's son Jace, a devoted fan of firefighters and police officers, died of a heart defect in February shortly before his 8th birthday. Sean survived a go-cart accident after receiving 12 units of blood.

The game — of which the Badges have won all but two — and the campaign help put a spotlight on the typically low amount of blood donations in summer months.

Call 806-331-8872.


Art shows

The monthly stroll through the Galleries at Sunset Center will feature new openings by Stacy Lavon, Matthew Williams and others. The free walk runs from 5 to 9 p.m. Friday at the galleries, 3701 Plains Blvd. Also this weekend, Cerulean Gallery will celebrate the opening of "Illuminations," featuring artists Carmen Menza of Dallas and Ginger Nelson, Kristy Snell and Jena Rawley Taylor of Amarillo. A reception runs from 6 to 9 p.m. Friday at the gallery, 2762 Duniven Circle. The exhibition will hang through Sept. 9. A portion of proceeds from opening night will benefit Faith City Mission, a nonprofit organization who works with the homeless, addicted and poor population.


Koben Puckett Invitational

The third-annual Koben Puckett Invitational, a Professional Bull Riders event, is set for 7:30 p.m. Saturday in the Will Rogers Range Riders Arena, 313 Texas Loop 335. Gates open at 6 p.m., and tickets are $20 at the event or $17 in advance.

Check out my interview with the inspirational Puckett, who suffered a paralyzing bullriding accident in 2008.



Kidsfest will provide school supplies for students Saturday.Kidsfest will provide school supplies for students Saturday.Kidsfest / Facebook

The 11th annual Kidsfest will run from 8 a.m. to noon Saturday, offering families help in preparing their kids for school.

Inspired by a speech by former Secretary of State Colin Powell, the America's Promise in Amarillo event is structred around "five promises" — Caring Adults, Safe Places, Healthy Start, Marketable Skills and Opportunities to Serve.

“Kids and families will have opportunities to explore each Promise Area to get everything from school supplies and an opportunity to learn about after-school activities and clubs. They will also receive information from agencies that serve youth,” said Terry Price, event chair.

The event also will feature snacks and entertainment.

“We will have all kinds of fun free activities provided by businesses, churches and non-profits in our community,” said Denise Blanchard, program director of community partnership. “It’s a joy to watch students look through their backpacks and get excited for the start of a new school year.”



Other activities and events

Amarillo Community Market will be open from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. Saturday around the Amarillo Chamber of Commerce, 1000 S. Polk ST. BackRoads Grill and Acai Bar & Burrito Stop will sell food, and Palace Coffee Co. and Evocation Coffee will sell drinks. Musicians Michael Blackwell and Clark Griffin will perform. More than 50 vendors are expected. ... Performances of Texas continue at 8:30 p.m. Tuesdays through Sundays in Palo Duro Canyon State Park. Visit … Outdoor activities include regular hours at Amarillo ZooWonderland Park and Sports World, as well as at parks across town



Chip Chandler is a digital content producer for Panhandle PBS. He can be contacted at, at @chipchandler1 on Twitter and at on Facebook.

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