Summer's heating up! Here's your guide to Amarillo's biggest events of the season
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By Chip Chandler — Digital Content Producer
The return of a beloved tradition, the kickoff of a new downtown festival, concerts by country music greats and one of Amarillo’s favorite sons — all these hot events and more are awaiting you this summer.
Here’s a rundown of some of the major concerts, festivals, parties and more heading your way through Labor Day.
Mark your calendars now, and watch this page throughout the summer for more details.
Ten live bands and two DJs will have Sam Houston Park rocking from noon to 9 p.m. Saturday for this free music festival. Look for music from the Juilliard Jazz Dropouts, City Will Shake, Golden Spread, The Foxfire Experiment, Shandy Bandits, Ray Wilson, Maggie Burt, Playa Lake, Eddie & The Eat and Mount Ivy, as well as Rupert the Duke and Bomb City Soundsystem. Shi Lee’s Barbecue & Soul Food Café, Scratch-Made Bakery & Café and more will provide food and drinks.
Saturday to Sept. 4
This new traveling exhibition at Don Harrington Discovery Center points out mathematical patterns and designs that surround us every day. From the pattern of dog spots to the symmetry of butterfly wings, the exhibit will focus on repeating patterns, shapes and sizes, designs in nature and mathematical inquiries.
May 31 to Aug. 25
Outdoor concerts will fill the air with tunes throughout the summer. Starlight Theater runs May 31 through Aug. 16 in Sam Houston Park. High Noon on the Square runs June 1 to Aug. 10 on the lawn of the old Potter County Courthouse. Amarillo Botanical Gardens’ Music in the Gardens runs June 2 to Aug. 25. June Jazz runs June 7 to 28 on the mall at Amarillo College’s Washington Street campus. And June Jams runs June 9 to 28 on the square in downtown Canyon.
One of the country’s best Americana bands returns to town for only its second time ever for a 10 p.m. show at Hoot’s Pub, 2424 Hobbs Road.
June 3 to Aug. 20
One of the longest-running outdoor dramas in the country returns for a 51st season in Pioneer Amphitheater in Palo Duro Canyon State Park.
Bragging rights are on the line for some of the region’s most competitive cowboys at this annual rodeo in the Amarillo National Center on the Amarillo Tri-State Fairgrounds, 3301 S.E. 10th Ave.
The card promises a WWE World Heavyweight Championship Triple-Threat Match between reigning champion Roman Reigns, AJ Styles and Sheamus, as well as bouts between Kalisto and Rusev and Charlotte and Natalya. Action kicks off at 1 p.m. in the Amarillo Civic Center Complex Coliseum.
The independent baseball team – which merged the Amarillo ThunderHeads and the Grand Prairie AirHogs – has its Amarillo home opener a few weeks after action opened down state. The team will split its 50 home games between Potter County Memorial Stadium and Grand Prairie. It’s an unusual situation, to say the least.
June 8 and 12
Something’s strange in the neighborhood. Who you gonna call? The original squad is back in action for four screenings of the 1984 classic (2 and 7 p.m. both days) at the United Artists Amarillo Star 14 and Cinemark Hollywood 16.
The Amarillo native and pivotal figure in the 1970s national music scene comes home for a special concert at Amarillo Little Theatre. Souther was a key figure in the formation of The Eagles, helping introduce Glenn Frey and Don Henley, as well as writing some of their most famous tunes. His solo career continues to this day, with the recent release of Tenderness and reissues of his early solo work, including his self-titled debut, Black Rose and Home by Dawn. Tickets are selling fast.
June 12 to July 23
The Kwahadi Dancers bring back their summer tradition for a two-month run of performances at the Kwahadi Museum of the American Indian.
The ninth-annual party will feature music by Velvet Funk and food and drink from dozens of vendors. The festivities run from 5 to 8 p.m. around the Amarillo Chamber of Commerce, 1000 S. Polk St.
Amarillo's Historic 6th Street on Route 66 Association will celebrate the Mother Road with a day-long festival between Fairmount and Georgia streets. Admission is free for the event, which includes a car show, swap meet, antique market, scavenger hunt, children's games and more. Bands will include Surfin' 66 and Mason Jar & The Shine Brothers at Broken Spoke Lounge, Lee Scheetz & Borderline at Wild Bill's Fillin' Station, and Lucid Moment, Mesquite County, Loaded Six, Skeleton Krew, Bone Head, Da Boogiemen and Moon Dog at Smokey Joe's.
June 23 to 26
Amarillo Opera’s Summer Youth Musical tackles this beloved classic in four performances in the Globe-News Center for the Performing Arts, 500 S. Buchanan St. The cast, crew and orchestra will be pulled from a pool of talented students from around the city and area.
Popular ’80s and ’90s country stars Restless Heart, Richie McDonald (Lonestar) and Billy Dean will join up for this 8 p.m. June 24 concert in the Amarillo Civic Center Complex Auditorium.
Amarillo band The Flying Elbows Perspective and some of their friends will team up for a tribute to the late, great Haggard. The show kicks off around 9 p.m. June 24 at Midnight Rodeo, 4400 S. Georgia St.
Amarillo’s LGBT community and allies will gather for the traditional Pride Month celebration. A screening of the Oscar-winning film Milk will be held at 7 p.m. June 24 at Amarillo Unitarian Universalist Fellowship, 4901 Cornell St., The Pride Festival runs from noon to 6 p.m. June 26 at Memorial Park, 26th Avenue and Washington Street. Festivities conclude with the annual Miss Gay Top of Texas at Large pageant at 10:30 p.m. June 26 at 212 Club, 212 S.W. Sixth Ave.
Fourth of July festivities
Celebrate Independence Day with parties throughout the area, including Canyon’s day-long party that wraps up with the Kickin’ It at Kimbrough concert featuring Little Texas and Riverbilly. Other popular celebrations include AGN Media’s party at John S. Stiff Memorial Park and community celebrations in Canadian (with the annual rodeo and concerts by Aaron Einhouse, Shotgun Rider and JW Lane & County Road X), Clarendon and elsewhere.
July 15 to Oct. 16
Artists Bell and Dawe will take over Amarillo Museum of Art for an intriguing two-man show. Bell is known for his three-dimensional standing glass wall sculptures, while Dawe will desgin and install a site-specific work in thread in the museum's three-story, open-air atrium.
This new event — set to run noon to midnight on a private six-acre lot at 10351 N. U.S. Highway 287 — promises “peace, love and music from local artists and vendors.” You’ll hear music from The DustJackets, The Firefox Experiment, Mesquite County, Loaded Six and more.
Some of Nashville’s greatest musicians – including chart-topping singer/guitarist Vince Gill and some of Music City’s best studio session players – will hit the road this summer for a tour that includes stops in Amarillo’s Globe-News Center for the Performing Arts on July 22 and at Lubbock Memorial Civic Center on July 23. The concerts are fundraisers for the Historic Granada Theater in Plainview.
The Amarillo faves return home for the first time since releasing Love to Live By, their first album since 2004's Wake Up, in a show at Guitars and Cadillacs. 3601 Olsen Blvd.
Amarillo’s first pop-culture, anime, comic book, gaming and steampunk convention returns for two days of fun July 23 and 24 in the Amarillo Civic Center Complex. Special guests include voice-over artist Steve Blum (X-Men, The Boxtrolls and Star Wars: Rebels, among others), cosplay star Mindy Tomlin and more.
This tribute show follows the Fab Four’s career through the eyes of manager Brian Epstein – from the legendary Cavern Club concert in Liverpool to the screaming hordes at Shea Stadium to the final live rooftop concert. It’s set for 7:30 p.m. July 30 in the Globe-News Center for the Performing Arts.
The 22nd annual Original Harley Party – set for 5 p.m. July 30 at 10th Avenue and Polk Street in downtown Amarillo – will feature food from about 35 restaurants and music from Kilo Road, Mind Plays and The Buster Bledsoe Band, as well as drawings for a limited edition Harley or $15,000 in cash. Tickets are $80 for two, and the party frequently sells out.
The Don Harrington Discovery Center celebrates its 40th anniversary with a revival of the Discover! family festival. Discover! 4.0 will feature activities, food trucks, an outdoor laser light show and more. Admission is $3, including admission to the center itself.
Aug. 18 to 28
Amarillo Little Theatre opens its 90th season with some bumping and grinding in this musical adaptation of the popular 1997 film comedy. Yes, there will be butts – it’ll take place in the Adventure Space, after all.
The Center City Block Party is on hiatus (for now, at least), and in its place comes this outdoor, family-friendly art festival. The fest — located in and around the Globe-News Center and the Amarillo Public Library downtown branch — will feature live music and karaoke, a food truck corral and art-inspired activities for all ages.
Beer from more than 75 breweries will be flowing at this day-long party in the Amarillo Civic Center Complex North Exhibit Hall. The Local Nobodys will perform, and paid admission (which benefits Hands On Amarillo) will include a souvenir glass.