Amarillo Sod Poodles: The Soddies continue to chase their second championship with five home stands over the next two months: June 29 to July 4 against the Wichita Wind Surge; July 20 to 25 against the Frisco RoughRiders; July 27 to Aug. 1 against the San Antonio Missions; Aug. 10 to 15 against the Corpus Christi Hooks; and Aug. 24 to 29 against the RoughRiders. (Hodgetown, 715 S. Buchanan St., 806-803-7762, sodpoodles.com)

Canyon’s 4th of July Independence Day Celebration: The fireworks will be extra special this year after the muted festivities of 2020, and perhaps nowhere will be as fun as Canyon, home of the Panhandle’s biggest Independence Day party (give or take a Clarendon or a Canadian). In addition to the Canyon Lions Club Pancake Breakfast, parade and pyrotechnics at night, don’t miss all the fun at the Fair on the Square, featuring more than 100 vendors. Here’s the catch: All the fun will take place on July 3, so don’t let that pesky calendar confuse you. Looking for more holiday fun? Check out Don Harrington Discovery Center’s Explode! on July 1, the Will Rogers Range Riders Rodeo from July 1 to 3, and Texas country giant Robert Earl Keen on July 3 at Starlight Ranch Event Center. Or, head down to Turkey for a July 3 celebration with a lineup of Texas country favorites at Hotel Turkey.

Outdoor concerts: Amarillo’s best-loved summer tradition continues with live music four days a week through most of the season. Amarillo Parks and Recreation’s Starlight Theater offers a variety of acts Tuesday nights through Aug. 31 in Sam Houston Park, Line Avenue and Western Street. Center City of Amarillo’s High Noon on the Square offers a slew of favorites (plus lunch) Wednesdays through July 28 at 501 S. Fillmore St. Amarillo Botanical Gardens’ Music in the Gardens goes into overtime this season with tunes Thursday nights through Sept. 16 at the gardens, 1400 Streit Drive. And the newest offering, Music at Wellington Square Courtyard, on Saturday nights through Aug. 28 at 1601 S. Kentucky St.

Black Widow: As delightfully fun as WandaVision and Loki have been, it’s been a long, long time since Spider-Man: Far from Home in 2019. The Marvel Cinematic Universe comes roaring back with this highly anticipated thriller, the long-awaited solo spotlight on Scarlett Johansson’s Natasha Romanoff (and, potentially, the introduction of her MCU replacement?). (Opens July 9)

Nazareth German Fest and Suds & Sounds: The 49th-annual festivities kick off at 9:30 a.m. with an arts and crafts show, the 11 a.m. German sausage dinner, kids’ games and more, then move into high gear at the 6:30 p.m. music festival, featuring Mitchell Ford & The Volunteers, Next to Kin, Hogg Maulies and headliners Dylan Wheeler and Dirty River Boys. (July 10; Nazareth Community Hall and Nazareth Ball Park; lunch $8 children and $12 adults; music fest $30 at gate; facebook.com/GermanFestSudsNSounds)

Always… Patsy Cline: Amarillo Little Theatre’s biggest hit returns for a final bow with original cast members Tammy Hysmith and Cindi Bulla, nearly 30 years after it was originally produced. I’ve been around long enough to have attended some of the first revivals, and if these two talented women can recapture the magic, this will truly be a special engagement. ALT Academy is also on the boards this summer with a production of Newsies, the popular stage adaptation of the Disney musical. (Newsies: July 9 to 19, Allen Shankles Mainstage, 2019 Civic Circle; Patsy: July 29 to Aug. 8, Allen Shankles Mainstage)

Hey Amarillo Beer Fest: Nearly a dozen different local breweries, along with craft beer lines from all around the Lone Star State, are available for sampling for the buzzy second round of this family-friendly party, put on by Brick & Elm cofounder Jason Boyett’s podcast. Stick around for tunes by Def Leppard tribute band Def Leggend. (5 p.m. July 31, Starlight Ranch Event Center, 1415 Sunrise Drive)


Texas: The outdoor musical wraps up its 55th season in Palo Duro Canyon State Park with performances six nights a week through Aug. 14. (8:30 p.m. Tuesdays through Sundays, Pioneer Amphitheatre. 806-655-2181)

MercyMe: The phenomenally popular contemporary Christian band returns to town for a show with Austin French in the Amarillo Civic Center Complex Coliseum, 401 S. Buchanan St. I can only imagine that they’ll play all of their big hits, as well as new tunes from inhale(exhale). (7 p.m. Aug. 12. 806-378-3096, panhandletickets.com)

Respect: Oscar-winner Jennifer Hudson (Dreamgirls) takes on her biggest acting challenge in this biopic of the iconic soul diva Aretha Franklin. The trailers look sensational, and Franklin herself tapped Hudson for the role. (Opens Aug. 13)

PampaFest: Amarillo-born Texas country greats Cooder Graw will headline this festival, which also features Zac Wilkerson, Travis Roberts, Velvet Funk and The Michael D. Coon Band, with master of ceremonies Ed Montana. Look for food trucks, vendors, cornhole and volleyball tournaments, a beer and wine bar, and more. (9 a.m. Aug. 21, downtown Pampa; tickets $25 advance, $35 at the gate; 806-664-8282)

Jim Gaffigan: The wryly hysterical, Grammy-nominated and Emmy-winning comedian brings his Fun Tour to Amarillo for his first performance in the Civic Center Coliseum. This is one of the biggest shows in town in recent memory for comedy fans, so here’s hoping it’s a huge hit and we get some huge follow-ups. (7 p.m. Aug. 26, 806-378-3096, panhandletickets.com) 


  • Chip Chandler

    Chip is the senior communications specialist at West Texas A&M University. A Canadian High School graduate and award-winning journalist, he has covered arts and entertainment in Amarillo since 1998 and is a member of the Amarillo Convention and Visitor Council arts committee. He is a 2020 Golden Nail Award winner and a 2017 National Philanthropy Day award winner. He is a member of the national GALECA critics group, has seen every Best Picture Oscar winner and watches way too much television.

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