By Chip Chandler — Producer
Here's a quick take on your 10 best entertainment bets in the next 10 days.
1. Amarillo Tri-State Fair & Rodeo
The annual kick-off to fall continues through Sept. 21 at the Tri-State Fairgrounds, 3301 S.E. 10th Ave., featuring food on a stick, bucking broncs, vendors, midway games and tons of hand-crafted goodness. Fair concerts will feature Ameripolitan star Dale Watson at 9:30 p.m. Sept. 20 and rising country star Randall King at 9:30 p.m. Sept. 21.
2. Songs for a New World
West Texas A&M University Theatre will open its 2019-20 season with this song cycle featuring works by the great Jason Robert Brown (The Last Five Years), to be staged Sept. 12 to 22. Fans of musical theater can also catch Amarillo Little Theatre will open its Mainstage season with Legally Blonde: The Musical, a bubbly musical adaptation of the Reese Witherspoon comedy, to be staged through Sept. 29.
3. Amarillo Symphony
Amarillo Symphony's 95th season-opening concerts will feature violinist Jennifer Koh performing Tchaikovsky's Violin Concerto at 7:30 p.m. Sept. 20 and 21 in the Globe-News Center for the Performing Arts, 500 S. Buchanan St.
4. All Charged Up
Add some spark to the fall by checking out Don Harrington Discovery Center's new exhibition, offering hands-on experimentation with electricity. The exhibition will be on view from Sept. 21 to May 25. The center also will host science personality Steve Spangler (The Ellen DeGeneres Show) for a 6:30 p.m. Sept. 28 in the Amarillo Civic Center Complex Auditorium, 401 S. Buchanan St. Other autumn-time family fun will include the opening of Maxwell's Pumpkin Farm on Sept. 21; the attraction will be open weekends through Oct. 27.
5. Mayor's Half-Marathon
Don't worry if you're not a runner: The Sept. 21 festivities at Get Fit, 1911 S. Georgia St., will include the Wolflin Square Fall Festival, featuring live music from Nelson Page, Gary Thomason, Mike Fuller & The Repeat Offenders and Broken Echo, as well as a photo booth, cornhole and a kids zone. Proceeds will benefit The Bridge. Other upcoming fundraisers will include the LIPS lip-synch competition for Opportunity School on Sept. 26; Una Gran Cena fiesta dinner for Amarillo Wesley Community Center on Sept. 26; Wing Wars for Amarillo Montessori Academy on Sept. 28; and the Great Epilepsy Steakout for Epilepsy Foundation Texas on Sept. 28.
6. Hoodoo Mural Festival
Have you spotted any of the new murals dotting downtown Amarillo? Celebrate their arrival at this family friendly party at 4:11 p.m. Sept. 21 at 411 S. Fillmore St. in this new event tied to Center City of Amarillo and Amarillo Cultural District. The party also will feature featuring food trucks and children's art activities. Other murals can be seen at 509 S. Tyler St., 300 S.W. Seventh Ave., 406 S. Polk St., 2411 S.W. Sixth Ave., and 212 S.W. Sixth Ave. An after-party will begin after sunset at Crush, 627 S. Polk St.
This family-friendly animated film is the only national release scheduled for the weekend of Sept. 28. Opening the weekend of Sept. 20 are the Brad Pitt-starring sci-fi drama Ad Astra, a feature-film continuation of Downton Abbey and new franchise entry Rambo: Last Blood. Special engagements will include anime film Promare on Sept. 19; a TCM Big Screen Classics screening of The Shawshank Redemption on Sept. 22, 24 and 25; and a 25th anniversary celebration of Friends on Sept. 23 and 28.
8. Haunted houses
What's scarier? These haunts or the fact that Halloween is so fast approaching? Check out opening-night fun at the new Butcher's Hollow, 2503 S.W. 45th Ave., on Sept. 27; Sixth Street Massacre on Sept. 28; and Amarillo Scaregrounds, 2736 S.W. 10th Ave., on Sept. 28.
9. Amarillo Bulls
The ninth-annual festivities, which benefit Caprock Canyons State Park, will feature headliner Kevin Fowler with Mark Powell, Cooder Graw, The Hamiltons and Ed Montana. Music begins at 4:30 p.m. Sept. 28 in Quitaque. Other concerts of note: former Amarillo rock band Mind Plays at 6 p.m. Sept. 19 at Smokey Joe's, 2903 S.W. Sixth Ave.; Diana Barr at 7:30 p.m. Sept. 19, the Austin Brazille Quartet at 9 p.m. Sept. 20, blues rocker Johnny Reverb Holston at 7:30 p.m. Sept. 26 and jazz/swing trio Snaps for Sinners at 9 p.m. Sept. 27 at Esquire Jazz Club, 626 S. Polk St.; Texas country star Josh Grider at 10 p.m. Sept. 19, Queensrÿche rocker Geoff Tate's Operation: Mindcrime at 8 p.m. Sept. 20, Texas country star Sunny Sweeney at 10 p.m. Sept. 21 and Americana rock band Micky & The Motorcars with country-rock band Copper Chief at 10 p.m. Sept. 28 at Hoots Pub, 2424 Hobbs Road; Clyde & The Milltailer's Clyde McGee with Jonathan Guidi and Touching Voodoo at 10 p.m. Sept. 20 at Leftwoods, 2511 S.W. Sixth Ave.; metal bands Red Beard Wall, Deviator, Weedgrinder, Sevity and Odrot at 7 p.m. Sept. 21 and metal bands HallowPoint, GnarWolf, Trench Rat and Nothing in Vain at 7 p.m. Sept. 28 at Zombiez Bar & Grill, 711 S.W. 10th Ave.; a sold-out concert featuring Eli Young Band, Mike Ryan and Logan Samford at 8 p.m. Sept. 21 at Starlight Ranch Event Center, 1415 Sunset Drive; cumbia superstars Los Angeles Azules at 8 p.m. Sept. 21 in the Amarillo Civic Center Complex Auditorium, 401 S. Buchanan St.; rock band Jay Statham & The Tokie Show at 10 p.m. Sept. 21 and Okey Dokey with Vamping at 9 p.m. Sept. 24 at Golden Light Cantina, 2908 S.W. Sixth Ave.; Amarillo '80s rock band Inside Out at 10 p.m. Sept. 21 at Skooterz, 4100 Bushland Blvd.; Amarillo party band Velvet Funk at 10 p.m. Sept. 21 and Amarillo party band Go on Fiv5 at 10 p.m. Sept. 27 at Whiskey River, 4001 S.W. 51st Ave.; Americana singer Karyn Ann at 7 p.m. Sept. 25 at Starlight Canyon Bed & Breakfast, 100 Brentwood Road; a Sunset & Songwriters concert featuring The DustJackets, Danny Freeze & The Earthlings and Mike Fuller at 6 p.m. Sept. 26 at Wildcat Bluff Nature Center, 2301 N. Soncy Road; the Amarillo College Piano Series featuring David Jacob Korevaar at 7:30 p.m. Sept. 26 in the AC Concert Hall; and Amarillo singer Stephanie Brackett at 7 p.m. Sept. 27 at Bar Z Winery, 19290 Farm-to-Market Road 1541.