By Chip Chandler — Producer
Here's a quick take on your 10 best entertainment bets in the next 10 days.
1. Sounds of Summer
Outdoor concert season keeps steaming along. Amarillo Botanical Gardens' annual Music in the Gardens series will continue with Amarillo party band Insufficient Funds at 8 p.m. June 27 at the gardens, 1400 Streit Drive (no band for July 4). June Jams will close out with progressive Americana band Comanche Moon at 7:30 p.m. June 27 in Neblett Park near the Randall County Courthouse in Canyon. The Starlight Theatre series will continue at 7 p.m. July 2 with Amarillo rock band Kim & The Crash at Sam Houston Park, Line Avenue and Western Street. The Amarillo College June Jazz season will continue with Austin Brazille at 7 p.m. June 25 on the AC Washington Street campus. (Center City of Amarillo's High Noon on the Square will take a one-week hiatus and return July 10.)
2. Amarillo Sod Poodles
The Soddies are back from the All-Star break with a four-game home stand against the Corpus Christi Hooks from June 27 to 30, then are back in action at home with games against the Frisco Roughriders from July 4 to 7, all at Hodgetown, 701 S. Buchanan St. Other sports action will include a roller derby battle between Bomb City Bombshells and Roswell Supernovas at 6:30 p.m. June 29 in the Rex Baxter Building on the Amarillo Tri-State Fairgrounds, 3301 S.E. 10th Ave.
3. Domestic Space
West Texas A&M University student Aaron Taylor will explore the connections between people and the places they occupy in this new exhibition opening June 28 at Chalice Abbey Center for Spirituality and the Arts, 2717 Stanley St. Other art shows include Metallica, a Back Alley Gallery art show by Rachael Edwards that will combine elements of street art and the gallery experience beneath the Taylor Street overpass on First Avenue at 7:30 p.m. June 29; and Cut Up / Cut Out, a touring exhibition examining the laborious and innovative uses of decorative piercing and cutting, opening July 6 at Amarillo Museum of Art, 2200 S. Buchanan St.
4. Above the Sun
Amarillo acting troupe Merely Players will stage this musical drama based on poetry from the Old Testament at 7:30 p.m. June 28 and 29 in the Amarillo College Experimental Theatre on the Washington Street campus. Also on stage: long-running outdoor musical Texas at 8:30 p.m. Tuesdays through Sundays through Aug. 17 (with special extended fireworks finales from July 3 to 6), and Kwahadi Dancers' Song of the Eagle on June 29 and a special 75th anniversary performance on July 6 at the Kwahadi Kiva Museum, 9151 E. Interstate 40.
5. Kevin Fowler
The Amarillo native will come home for an 8 p.m. June 28 show at Starlight Ranch Event Center, 1415 Sunset Drive. Other concerts of note: Texas country artist Austin Meade at 10 p.m. June 27 and Americana singer-songwriter Adam Hood at 10 p.m. June 28 at Hoots Pub, 2424 Hobbs Road; folk singer Randy Palmer at 6:30 p.m. June 27 for Sunset and Songwriters at Wildcat Bluff Nature Center, 2301 N. Soncy Road; Austin alt-rock band The Human Circuit at 7:30 p.m. June 27 at Esquire Jazz Club, 626 S. Polk St.; Amarillo rock band Mind Plays at 10 p.m. June 28 at Whiskey River, 5001 S.W. 51st Ave.; Amarillo native blues-rocker Cody Jasper at 10 p.m. June 28 and Americana rock band Vandoliers at 10 p.m. June 29 at Golden Light Cantina, 2908 S.W. Sixth Ave.; Southern rocker Jordan Matthew Young at 10 p.m. June 29 at Leftwoods, 2511 S.W. Sixth Ave.; and Lubbock duo Black Cat Bone at 8 p.m. July 6 at Metropolitan — A Speakeasy, 9181 Town Square Blvd., Suite 1201.
6. Lovestock Music and Art Festival
More than 30 bands and DJs, plus comedians from Yellow City Comedy, will be featured on four stages at this annual festival at Zombiez Bar & Grill, 711 S.W. 10th Ave.; Music Box Body Art Studio, 613 S.W. 10th Ave.; Music Box, 907 S. Madison St.; and T's Bar, 700 S.W. 10th Ave.
7. Summer Fireworks Celebration
Downtown Amarillo will explode with fun at the Amarillo Chamber of Commerce's annual not-quite-July-Fourth event, which will run from 4 to 10 p.m. June 29. Look for music in two areas: the Amarillo National Bank stage at Sixth Avenue and Polk Street, and the Happy State Bank stage between Sixth and Seventh avenues and Taylor and Fillmore Street. Food trucks will line up along Sixth between Polk and Fillmore streets, and a beer garden will be open on Taylor Street between Fifth and Sixth avenues. Fireworks will explode above Hodgetown following the Amarillo Sod Poodles Game.
8. Spider-Man: Homecoming
Spidey must step up to a new level of heroics in the wake of Avengers: Endgame in this film opening July 2. Films opening the weekend of June 28 include action film Anna, horror sequel Annabelle Comes Home and musical fantasy Yesterday. Also opening July 2 is writer/director Ari Aster's Hereditary follow-up Midsommar. Special engagements include 25th anniversary screenings of Forrest Gump on June 23 and 25, a filmed-live production of the musical Kinky Boots on June 25 and 29, and anime classic Whisper of the Heart on July 1 and 2 as part of Studio Ghibli Fest 2019. And for fans of the classics, Copper Fire Grill will screen the 1932 film A Farewell to Arms at 7 p.m. July 3; reservations are requested.
9. July 4 activities
The whole region will be popping with Independence Day activities. Don Harrington Discovery Center's annual Explode! party is set for 6 p.m. July 2. Texas country favorites The Randy Rogers Band will headline the Kickin' It in Canyon concert at 7 p.m. July 3 in the First United Bank Center in Canyon, followed on July 4 by the town's day-long Independence Day celebration. Lake Meredith's annual fireworks show will begin at dark on July 3 at the lake, followed by a 10:15 p.m. screening of The Wizard of Oz. Amarillo's Tascosa Drive-In will screen Spider-Man: Far from Home and Toy Story 4 before its annual fireworks show on July 4. Amarillo Adult Athletics and the Amarillo Parks and Recreation Department will host the Family Fun 4th from 8 a.m. to 6 p.m. July 4 at John Stiff Park, featuring runs, ultimate frisbee, co-ed sand volleyball and more (pre-registration due July 1). Clarendon's 142nd annual Saint's Roost Celebration will run July 4 to 6. Canadian's 131st annual July 4th Celebrations and Rodeo will run July 4 to 6, as well. And look for more civic fun in Dalhart, Dumas, Wheeler and elsewhere.
10. Koben Puckett Invitational
The Professional Bull Riders-sanctioned competition moves to July 6 in the Amarillo National Center on the Tri-State Fairgrounds, 3301 S.E. 10th Ave. Funds raised help support the Press On Foundation, which has helped Puckett (who was paralyzed from the neck down in a 2008 bull-riding accident) and those like him afford rehab and therapy. Cowpokes should also keep their eyes open for the annual Will Rogers Range Riders Rodeo from July 4 to 6 at the Range Riders Arena, 313 W. Loop 335 South.