Fall Entertainment Preview, Pt. 2: Activities, events, fundraisers & more
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The Amarillo Tri-State Fair runs Sept. 16 to 23.

By Chip Chandler — Digital Content Producer

Barbecue cook-offs, hot air balloons, haunted houses and scads of fundraisers: Here's your guide to fall events and activities through November. (For Part One (concerts and performing/visual arts), click here.

September

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Sept. 8:  The annual Amarillo Chamber of Commerce  Good Times Celebration Barbecue Cook-Off runs 5 to 8 p.m. Sept. 8 on the chamber grounds, 1000 S. Polk St. Tickets are $30 in advance and $40 at the gate. The Buster Bledsoe Band will perform. Call 806-373-7800 or 806-378-3096.

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Sept. 9 to 11:  Up in the Air for Family Care Balloon Rally moves to one central location — John S. Stiff Memorial Park, 4800 S. Bell St. — for its seventh-annual event. The festival kicks off with hot air balloon ascensions from a variety of schools at 7:30 a.m. Friday. All activities then move to the park for a sunrise mass ascension at 7 a.m. Saturday; an outdoor festival from 3 to 9 p.m. featuring live music, children's area, food and beverage vendors and a balloon glow at sunset; and a 7 a.m. Sunday sunrise mass ascension. Admission is free, but donations are accepted to benefit Family Care Foundation, which assists those in financial need during a one-time medical emergency.  

Sept. 9:  Amarillo Botanical Gardens'  Mad Hatter's Ball fundraiser includes a full meal, open bar and prizes. Tickets are $50 or $500 for a table of eight. Attendees should wear "a curiously adorned hat." Call 806-352-6513.

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Sept. 10:  The Amarillo Bulls home season opens with a match against the Odessa Jackalopes at 7:05 p.m. Sept. 10 in the Amarillo Civic Center Complex Coliseum, 401 S. Buchanan St. Single tickets range from $13 to $23, or $9 for children ages 2 to 12. Other opponents this fall include: Lone Star Brahamas on Sept. 17 and Oct. 14-16, Wichita Falls Wildcats on Oct. 28 and 29, Corpus Christi IceRays on Nov. 4 and 5, and Shreveport Mudbugs on Nov. 18 and 19. The home season continues through April 1; here's a full schedule.

Sept. 10: Classic country singer John Conlee will headline the Tri-State Fair & Rodeo Gala at 7 p.m. Sept. 10 in the Amarillo National Center on the fairgrounds, 3301 S.E. 10th Ave. Tables of eight are $500; proceeds benefit the fair's scholarship endowment. Call 806-376-7767.

Sept. 10: Friends of the Amarillo Public Library will hold its annual book sale from 9 a.m. to 6 p.m. Sept. 10 and 2 to 6 p.m. Sept. 11 in the Downtown Library, 413 S.E. Fourth Ave. Books are $5 per bag on Sept. 11 or priced as marked Sept. 10.

Sept. 15-18:  Panhandle Kennel Club of Texas will host a dog show Sept. 15 to 18 in the Amarillo Civic Center Complex North and South Exhibit Halls. The event is free.

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Sept. 16 to 24:  Food on a stick, carnival rides and great Texas country: Yes, The Amarillo Tri-State Fair returns for a week of fun from Sept. 16 to 24 on the Tri-State Fairgrounds, 3301 S.E. 10th Ave. The fair's open 4 p.m. to midnight Sept. 16 and 8 a.m. to midnight Sept. 17 through 23. The parade is set for 10 a.m. Sept. 17 in downtown Amarillo. The Bud Light Stage will feature Micky & The Motorcars on Sept. 17, Jennifer Nickerson on Sept. 20, Bri Bagwell on Sept. 22, Chris Knight on Sept. 23 and Cooder Graw on Sept. 24; concerts begin around 9:30 p.m. and are free with fair admission. Plus, there's Professional Rodeo Cowboys Association performances at 7:30 p.m. Sept. 22, 23 and 24. There's free admission until 1 p.m. Sept. 19 to 23; otherwise, admission is $10 ages 13 to 54, or $5 ages 6 to 12 or ages 55 and older. Ride wristbands are $30 daily; midway hours are 4 p.m. to midnight on weekdays and 1 p.m. to midnight on weekends. Mega Passes (including daily admission to the fair and all rides except for the power ride) are $65 through Sept. 15 and $70 afterwards. Midway and food court are cashless, so buy tokens at the booths. Call 806-376-7767.

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Sept. 17:  Robert Earl Keen will headline the sixth-annual Texas State Bison Music Festival on Sept. 17 in Caprock Canyons State Park near Quitaque. The all-day event will feature arts and crafts vendors, food vendors and more. Music begins at 3 p.m. with acts including Kevin Deal, Zac Wilkerson and Mark Powell. Tickets are $30, which benefits the restoration of the state bison herd. Coolers are allowed with a $10 fee. Call 806-455-1492.

Sept. 22:  The March of Dimes' annual Signature Chefs fundraiser adds a Texas twist this year with a move to Cornerstone Ranch Event Center, 1901 Cement Road. The event runs from 6 to 9:30 p.m. Sept. 22 and will feature some of Amarillo's best chefs competing for your votes. Sponsorship levels are $2,000 to $10,000 (with some individual seats available for $200). Call 806-553-2391.

Sept. 23-25:  The Horns 'N Heels Gala, which benefits Advo Companies, is set for 6 p.m. Sept. 23 at Advo, 5241 S. Washington St. The evening includes a catered meal, a style show and karate demonstrations by Advo's clients. Sponsorship levels are $1,000 and above. The weekend also includes World Series Team Roping at 10 a.m. Sept. 23 (including pro ropers) and 9 a.m. Sept. 24-25 at Will Rogers Range Riders Arena, 313 Texas Loop 335. Admission is free. Call 806-342-0600.

Sept. 24:  Chow down on a slew of chicken wings at the fourth annual Wing Wars fundraiser for Amarillo Montessori Academy. The event runs from 4 to 8 p.m. Sept. 24 at a new location, the showroom for Ferguson Bath, Kitchen & Lighting Galleries, 5823 Canyon Drive. Tickets are $30 for adults and $10 for children, or $60 for early-bird admission at 3 p.m. 

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Sept. 24 to Jan. 8:  Don Harrington Discovery Center will celebrate espionage with its latest traveling exhibition. Top Secret: License to Spy is based on a James Bond-style fantasy of exotic locations and high-tech equipment as kids try to solve a mystery. Admission is $11 for adults or $8 for children 8 to 12, students age 13 to 22, military and seniors. Call 806-355-9547.

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Sept. 24 to Oct. 30:  Maxwell's Country Family Fun & Maze opens for a ninth season, this year with a new giant maze that includes a barnyard bingo game. More than 80 acres at the farm are used for educational, hands-on activities, including sing-along hayrides, the pumpkin patch, apple cannons, a jumping pad, ziplines, giant slides and more. Tickets are $14.95 (plus tax) including unlimited rides on the ziplines or $11.95 (plus tax) without. The farm, located 12908 S. Bell St., is open 5 to 9 p.m. Fridays, 10 a.m. to 9 p.m. Saturdays and 1 to 9 p.m. Sundays through Oct. 30. Call 806-373-9600.

Sept. 24 to Nov. 5:  Gee Family Farm (formerly the Amazingly Fun Farm) will open for a new season of fun at 10 a.m. Sept. 24. The farm, located at Loop 335 and South Whitaker Road, will offer a family-friendly maze (no more haunted one for fans of the scares, but there will be a flashlight-led nighttime maze from 8 to 10 p.m. Fridays), a special trail for families with young children, farm-relatd activities, a hay slide, a zipline and more. Admission is $10 (plus tax). Hours are 2 to 7 p.m. Fridays, 10 a.m. to 7 p.m. Saturdays and 2 to 7 p.m. Sundays. Call 806-346-5677.

Sept. 25:  575 Pizzeria's eighth-annual P3 Pubcrawl will take bicyclists from the pizzeria's Wolflin location, 2803 Civic Circle, to Golden Light Cafe, 2906 S.W. Sixth Ave., and to I Don't Know Sports Bar & Grill, 1301 S.W. Sixth Ave., before returning to 575. (Here's a map of the route.) Live music will be available at each stop. Proceeds benefit One Chair at a Time.

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Sept. 30:  Extreme Midget Wrestling Federation will hit town for a 9 p.m. Sept. 30 bout at La Corona de Tejas, 5600 E. Amarillo Blvd. Tickets are $15 in advance or $25 at the door for general admission, or $30 for ringside seats. 

Sept. 30: Haunt season kicks off with the openings of Amarillo Scaregrounds, 6th Street Massacre and Van Buren Frightmare. Scaregrounds, which boasts five different haunts at 2736 S.W. 10th Ave., will be open from 7 p.m. to midnight Sept. 30 and Oct. 1, 7, 8, 9, 14, 15, 21, 22, 28, 29, 30 and 31. Admission is $5 to $20 per haunt, $35 for all or $50 for an all-night pass. 6th Street Massacre, 3015 S.W. Sixth Ave., will be open from 8 p.m. to midnight every Friday and Saturday in October; owner Mike Fisher promises a new scare that sent "chills from the tip of my toes to the top of my head." Admission is $20 or $25 for a fast pass. Van Buren Frightmare, 816 S. Van Buren St., will preview at 7 p.m. Sept. 30 and then open from 7 p.m. to midnight Fridays and Saturdays in October, plus Oct. 30 and 31. Admission is $20. 

 

October

Oct. 1: The Canyon Chamber Chow-Down Barbecue Cook-Off kicks off at 1 p.m. with a happy hour. Sample foods from cook teams from 3 to 6 p.m. (or as long as supplies last) and then check out music from 4 to 10 p.m. Riverbilly will headline with additional performances by Noah Jenda and four finalists in a Battle of the Bands. What's that, you say? The chamber is soliciting entries for the battle now; demos are due Sept. 16, and the finalists will be selected by Sept. 23. The battle's winner will open the 2017 July 4 celebration. The cook-off takes place at First United Bank Center in Canyon. Tickets are $10 in advance or $15 at the gate; children 10 and younger are $5, but the chamber requests no children in strollers. Call 806-655-7815.

Oct. 1:  Chainsaw Massacre, the only haunt promising (threatening?) full-body contact, opens its season at 8 p.m. Oct. 1 with a new butcher shop area. Admission is $20 or $25 for a fast pass.

Oct. 1: Epilepsy Foundation's Great Epilepsy Steakout begins at 6:30 p.m. in the Amarillo Civic Center Grand Plaza. Tickets are $75. Proceeds benefit Epilepsy Foundation Texas.

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Oct. 1:  Kicker ArenaCross riders will tear through the Amarillo National Center on the Tri-State Fairgrounds at 7 p.m. Oct. 1. Tickets are $17 for adults and $11 for children, plus fees. 

Oct. 4: Author Peter Zheutlin and dog rescuer Greg Mahle will speak about Zheutlin's book Rescue Road about Mahle's efforts to pick up stray dogs in the south and brings them to the northeast for adoption. They'll speak at 7 p.m. Oct. 4 in the Globe-News Center for the Performing Arts, 500 S. Buchanan St.; doors open at 6 p.m., and admission is free. The book is this year's Amarillo Reads selection from Amarillo Public Library. Other events include "Not Just Cats and Dogs," a discussion of the city's Animal Management & Welfare department, at 6:30 p.m. Sept. 13 in the East Branch Library, 2232 S.E. 27th Ave.; a Downtown Lunchtime Book Club discussion of Rescue Road at 12:15 p.m. Sept. 22 at the Downtown Library, 413 S.E. Fourth Ave.; a free screening of Bolt at 6 p.m. Sept. 30 at the Southwest Branch Library, 6801 S.W. 45th Ave.; and an adopt-a-thon with Panhandle Paws of Hope from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. Oct. 8 at the Northwest Branch Library, 6100 S.W. Ninth Ave. Check here for more library events.

Oct. 6: Brave souls will lip-sync popular hits at the annual LIPS fundraiser for Opportunity School at 6 p.m. Oct. 6 in the Amarillo Civic Center Complex Heritage Ballroom. Tickets are $75, and sponsorships are available. Call 806-674-3636.

Oct. 6: Amarillo Hispanic Chamber of Commerce will host its annual Flavors of Amarillo and Mariachi Festival from 5 to 9 p.m. Oct. 6 in the Rex Baxter Building on the Amarillo Tri-State Fairgrounds. The event features food from a variety of Amarillo restaurants, live music and more. Tickets are $15 in advance and $20 at the door. Call 806-379-8800.

Oct. 12-15:  Cowboy Mounted Shooting Association will hold its world championship competition in the Amarillo National Center on the Tri-State Fairgrounds. Admission is free. 

Oct. 15: Tour downtown with Panhandle-Plains Historical Museum's Michael Grauer with an Amarillo Walking Tour at 10 a.m. Oct. 15. The popular event is limited to 20 people, and it fills up quickly. Cost is $25. Click here for reservations, or call 806-651-2258.

Oct. 15:  Amberley Snyder, a former rodeo athlete who was paralyzed in a car accident but still rides horses, will speak at the Dove Creek Ranch and Equine Sanctuary Barbecue and Barn Dance at 6 p.m Oct. 15 at the ranch, 16201 Gordon Cummings Road. The event will feature the Texas Blues Rangers and Blues Boy Willie. Tickets are $50 or $500 for a table of eight. Call 877-322-5622.

Oct. 15: Get your science-geek chic on at the annual Mad Scientist Ball, set for 7 p.m. to midnight at Don Harrington Discovery Center, 1200 Streit Drive. The Space Rockers will perform, and attendees wil enjoy spy-themed cuisine and drinks, science activities and experiments, and more. Tickets are $125. Call 806-355-9547.

Oct. 22: Snakes, amphibians, lizards and more will be on view at the Tri-State Reptile Expo from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Oct. 22 and 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Oct. 23 in the Amarillo Civic Center Complex North Exhibit Hall. Admission is $12 for adults or $7 for children for one day or $15 for adults and $10 for children for two days. 

Oct. 25: Friends of the Amarillo Public Library will host its annual Books to Broadway concert at 6 p.m. Oct. 25 in the Amarillo Civic Center Complex Heritage Ballroom. Performers will sing musical theater favorites from shows that have been adapted from books. Proceeds from sponsorships and a silent auction will benefit Friends of the Amarillo Public Library, but admission is free. Call 806-378-3051.

Oct. 28: Kids can trick-or-treat and test out some science at the Discovery Center's Monster Bash from 5:30 to 7:30 p.m. Oct. 28. More details to come.

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Oct. 29:  Equality Texas will hold its annual Costume Gay-la from 8 p.m. to midnight Oct. 29 at 3600 Danbury Drive. Admission cost is TBD, including hors d'oeuvres and an open bar.

Oct. 29:  CASAtume, a costume party benefiting Amarillo Court Appointed Special Advocates, is set for 7 to 11 p.m. Oct. 29 at the Khiva Shrine, 305 S.E. Fifth Ave. Tickets are $75 in advance and $100 at the door. The event will feature a costume contest with $10 entry fee, food from Joe's Catering, an open bar and a performance by IDT Band from Dallas.

Oct. 31:  Sixth Street Creepy Crawl, a fundraiser for Acts Community, will feature family activities along Historic Route 66 from 6 to 9 p.m. Oct. 31, then adult activities from 9 p.m. to 2 a.m. Cost is TBD. Call 806-322-1806.

 

November

Nov. 4: Panhandle-Plains Historical Museum will host a Wild West Murder Mystery Dinner from 6 to 9 p.m. Nov. 4 in its Derrick Room. Cost is $75 or $140 for couples. Call 806-651-2244.

Nov. 4: Amarillo Museum of Art Alliance will host its annual Christmas Roundup holiday market from 1 to 4 p.m. Nov. 4, 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. Nov. 5 and 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. Nov. 6. Opening day events also include early-bird shopping from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. and cocktails and shopping from 5 to 8 p.m. Nov. 4. Admission is $8 for the weekend and $20 for the cocktails and shopping period. Call 806-371-5050.

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Nov. 5:  Panhandle AIDS Support Organization supporters will get dolled up for its annual Turnabout fundraiser at 8 p.m. Nov. 5 in the Sunset Event Center, 3701 Plains Blvd. This year's theme is "Meet Me at the Grammys." Tickets are $25 or $40, or  $640 or $1,000 for tables. Call 806-372-1100.

Nov. 10 to 13: Working Ranch Cowboys Association World Championship Ranch Rodeo performances are set for 7 p.m. Nov. 10 to 13 in the Amarillo Civic Center Complex Coliseum. Tickets are $27 to $37, plus fees. Call 806-378-3096.

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Nov. 12: Country singer Canaan Smith will headline the Amarillo Cattle Baron's Ball at 7 p.m. Nov. 12 in the Rex Baxter Building on the Tri-State Fairgrounds. Tickets are $200 and benefit American Cancer Society. 

Nov. 17: Get your drinks and sweets at Wine Down and Dessert Wars from 6 to 10 p.m. Nov. 17 in the Rex Baxter Building on the Tri-State Fairgrounds. Cost is TBD. Call 806-355-9777.

Nov. 19:  Lone Star Ballet Guild will celebrate the Year of the Monkey with the Chinese Nutcracker Ball at 7 p.m. Nov. 19 in the Civic Center Heritage Ballroom. The evening includes a Chinese-style dinner, live auction children's activities, silent auction, presentation of the 2016-17 ushers and usherettes, and music from Insufficient Funds. Tickets are $125. Call 806-372-2463.

Nov. 19: Panhandle-Plains Historical Museum will continue its celebration of Georgia O'Keeffe with Glamour Inspired by Georgia, an afternoon spent showing how O'Keeffe's art can inspire makeup looks. Cost is $10 for members and $15 for nonmembers. Call 806-651-2244.

 

Chip Chandler is a digital content producer for Panhandle PBS. He can be contacted at Chip.Chandler@actx.edu, at @chipchandler1 on Twitter and at www.facebook.com/chipchandlerwriter on Facebook.