As the heat outside (hopefully) fades, Amarillo’s entertainment scene really starts to boil in September and October. The centerpiece will be the 100th year of the Amarillo Tri-State Fair and Rodeo (see page 38), along with fun from upstarts like the Hoodoo Mural Festival. Arts organizations are back in full swing after a summer off, including centennial concerts from the Amarillo Symphony, a regional premiere from Amarillo Little Theatre and more. Fans of live music have several good bets, including some country greats and continued outdoor options. Movie studios will hope the Barbenheimer phenomenon will remind folks to continue to patronize their local theaters, as we enter a slight lull on the way to more serious fare (with a lot of horror along the way).
Check out these highlights, and don’t forget to subscribe to the free Brickly and Flavorillo newsletters for my entertainment picks every week.
Amarillo Tri-State Fair and Rodeo: One of the region’s most beloved traditions celebrates an amazing 100 years this year. The fair’s back Sept. 15 to 23 at the Tri-State Fairgrounds, 3301 SE 10th Ave. Also celebrating 100 years in 2023 is the Texas State Parks system, and you can join in on the party at Palo Duro Canyon State Park with Prairie Palooza on Sept. 16, featuring free park admission, vendors, booths and more. The much-newer but already well-established Hoodoo Mural Festival returns with new artists and one heck of a dance party on Sept. 30 in downtown Amarillo. Other event highlights include the wrap-up of the Amarillo Sod Poodles’ regular season with games Sept. 1 to 3 against the Midland RockHounds and Sept. 12 to 17 against the Frisco Rough Riders; the 15th Annual Crime Stoppers Car Show on Sept. 2 in the Amarillo Civic Center Complex, 401 S. Buchanan St; the American Quarter Horse Hall of Fame Induction & Reunion Celebration on Sept. 15 at the American Quarter Horse Hall of Fame & Museum, 2601 I-40 East; Echoes of the Past on Sept. 16 at Wildcat Bluff Nature Center, 2301 N. Soncy Road; the Wings of Hope butterfly release for The Hope & Healing Place on Sept. 16, Memorial Park, 26th Avenue and Washington Street; Opportunity School’s LIPS 2023 fundraiser on Sept. 23 at the new A.J. Swope Performance Plaza at Arts in the Sunset; the Great Epilepsy Cookout on Sept. 30 in the Civic Center Grand Plaza; and the kickoff of the Amarillo Wranglers’ hockey season on Sept. 29 and 30 in the Civic Center Coliseum.
Dwight Yoakam: The country great straps on his guitar and brings his hillbilly music back to town for a Sept. 1 show in the Civic Center Auditorium. Other musical highlights will include Uncle Lucius with Ryan Culwell on Sept. 1, Kolton Moore & The Clever Few on Sept. 2, Gary P. Nunn on Sept. 8, Roger Creager on Sept. 9, Paul Cauthen on Sept. 14, Tanner Usrey on Sept. 16, Mark Chesnutt on Sept. 22, Flatland Cavalry on Sept. 23, and The Casey Donahew Band on Sept. 30, all at Starlight Ranch Event Center, 1415 Sunrise Drive; Matt Hillyer on Sept. 1, The Venomous Pinks on Sept. 2, The Wilder Blue on Sept. 8, Grant Gilbert on Sept. 9, Ross Cooper on Sept. 15 and Jesse Daniel on Sept. 29, all at The Golden Light Cantina, 2098 SW Sixth Ave.; Los Huracanes del Norte on Sept. 2 in the Civic Center Auditorium; the annual Friends of Fogelberg concert on Sept. 8 and country stars The Mavericks with Joshua Ray Walker on Sept. 21, both in the Globe-News Center for the Performing Arts, 500 S. Buchanan St.; DJ Paul of Three 6 Mafia on Sept. 2, Hacienda La Grandeza, 10695 U.S. Highway 287; Michael Martin Murphey on Sept. 9 at Buffalo Grass Music Hall, 123 Main St. in Panhandle; The Tejas Brothers on Sept. 8, Gunner Fore & The Interstate on Sept. 16, and Triston Marez on Sept. 29, all at Hoots Pub, 2424 Hobbs Road; and Dear Marsha and Mike Fuller on Sept. 30, Starlight Canyon Bed & Breakfast, 100 Brentwood Road. Plus, don’t miss the Amarillo Tri-State Fair’s 100th-anniversary concert featuring hometown boys Aaron Watson and Kevin Fowler on Sept. 16; the Patriot Day Celebration with Bart Crow, Micky & The Motorcars and Seth Ward & The Silence on Sept. 9 at the Piehl Barn, 1000 FM 2381; and the “Ain’t Goin’ Down” tribute to Garth Brooks featuring Seth Ward, Mike Chism and more on Sept. 23 at Hoots Pub.
Amarillo Symphony: The orchestra opens its 100th anniversary season with a pair of masterpieces: Aaron Copland’s Rodeo and George Gershwin’s Rhapsody in Blue, featuring pianist Michelle Cann, on Sept. 15 and 16 in the Globe-News Center. Plus, ALT opens its MainStage season with its premiere of Charlie and the Chocolate Factory from Sept. 7 to 14. Other arts highlights will include the First Friday Art Walk on Sept. 1, Arts in the Sunset, 3701 Plains Blvd.; Broadway Spotlight Series’ Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse Live in Concert on Sept. 6 and The Book of Mormon, both in the Civic Center Auditorium; Chamber Music Amarillo’s Passionate Music on Sept. 9 at Sharpened Iron Studios, 1314 S. Polk St., and Winds of Change on Sept. 30 at AmTech Career Academy, 3601 Plains Blvd.; and West Texas A&M University Theatre’s Once Upon a Mattress from Sept. 28 to Oct. 8 in the Branding Iron Theatre.
A Haunting in Venice: Kenneth Branagh returns as Hercule Poirot in this all-star adaptation of Agatha Christie’s Hallowe’en Party, set to spook audiences beginning Sept. 15. Other new films opening in September are scheduled to include action sequel The Equalizer 3 on Sept. 1, My Big Fat Greek Wedding 3 and The Nun II on Sept. 8, horror film Satanic Hispanics on Sept. 14, Amerikatsi on Sept. 15, Dumb Money and Expend4bles on Sept. 22, and The Kill Room and Saw X on Sept. 29. Special theatrical engagements include 35th-anniversary screenings of They Live on Sept. 3 and 6; 40th-anniversary screenings of Christine on Sept. 10 and 13; romance After Everything on Sept. 13 and 14; Renée Fleming’s Cities that Sing: Venice on Sept. 17; 35th-anniversary screenings of Rain Man on Sept. 17 and 20; and anime classic Howl’s Moving Castle from Sept. 23 to 27.
Amarillo Chamber of Commerce Good Times Celebration Barbecue Cook-Off: One of the region’s biggest food festivals returns Oct. 5, at the Tri-State Fairgrounds. If you don’t get your fill there, sample the Amarillo Margarita & Taco Festival on Oct. 14 at Starlight Ranch. Other events highlights, in addition to Halloween-time haunted houses and corn mazes, include the Hispanic Heritage Luncheon on Oct. 12 in the Civic Center Grand Plaza; Amarillo Wranglers hockey matches against the Odessa Jackalopes on Oct. 13 and 14 and the Oklahoma Warriors on Oct. 20 and 21, both in the Civic Center Coliseum; West Texas A&M University Homecoming festivities on Oct. 14; the Hope for Our Heroes Gala with “Lone Survivor” Marcus Luttrell on Oct. 14 at Embassy Suites Amarillo, 550 S. Buchanan St.; the Amarillo Out of the Darkness Walk for Stand Against Suicide on Oct. 14 in Sam Houston Park, Line Avenue and Western Street; Amarillo Symphony’s Vintage Amarillo fundraiser on Oct. 21 at the Amarillo Club, 600 S. Tyler St.; Amarillo Public Library’s Books to Broadway fundraiser on Oct. 24 in the Civic Center Heritage Ballroom; medieval good times at the Cottonwood Faire on Oct. 28 at Thompson Park, 2401 Dumas Drive; the Lone Star Reptile Expo on Oct. 28 and 29 in the Civic Center Complex; the Monster Bash on Oct. 28 at Don Harrington Discovery Center, 1200 Streit Drive; and the 6th Street Creepy Crawl on Oct. 31 at various locations along Historic Route 66 on Sixth Avenue.
The Eli Young Band: The Texas country stars close out the concert season at Starlight Ranch on Oct. 27. Other musical highlights for the month include the Jazztober concert series on Tuesdays from Oct. 3 to 24 on the grounds of the historic Bivins Home at 1000 S. Polk St.; Autumn Ragland on Oct. 6, Under the Rug on Oct. 14 and Snailmate on Oct. 28, all at The Golden Light Cantina; tribute band Red NOT Chili Peppers on Oct. 14 and Mike & The Moonpies, both at Starlight Ranch; and The Great Divide on Oct. 27 at Hoots Pub.
Chemical Imbalance: A Jekyll and Hyde Play: Amarillo Little Theatre celebrates the spooky season with this darkly comic adaptation of this favorite, on stage from Oct. 19 to 29 in the ALT Adventure Space, 2751 Civic Circle. Also getting into the Halloween mood are Lone Star Ballet with Dancing with the Macabre: A Tribute to Edgar Allan Poe on Oct. 21 in the Globe-News Center and WT Theatre’s She Kills Monsters from Oct. 26 to Nov. 5 in the Happy State Bank Studio Theatre. Other highlights include an art exhibition by Katie Tuttle from Oct. 5 to 28 in WT’s Dord Fitz Formal Gallery; First Friday Art Walk on Oct. 6 at Arts in the Sunset; the WT Symphony Orchestra on Oct. 6 in Mary Moody Northen Recital Hall; Amarillo Opera’s Tosca on Oct. 7 in the Globe-News Center; Amarillo Symphony’s Celebraciones on Oct. 13 and 14 in the Globe-News Center; the WT fall choir concert Oct. 19 in Northen Recital Hall; Broadway Spotlight Series’ presentation of Johnny Cash: The Official Concert Experience on Oct. 30 in the Civic Center Auditorium; and WT Concert and Symphonic Band concerts on Oct. 31 in Northen Recital Hall.
Killers of the Flower Moon: Martin Scorsese’s latest epic, which explores the conflict between Osage tribe members and greedy white interlopers, opens wide Oct. 20. Also opening: drama Ordinary Angels, horror sequel The Exorcist: Believer and animated film Inspector Sun and the Curse of the Black Widow on Oct. 13; and Five Nights at Freddy’s and Priscilla on Oct. 27. Special engagements will include 50th-anniversary screenings of The Exorcist on Oct. 1 and 4; environmental activism documentary Into the Weeds on Oct. 3; 20th-anniversary screenings of House of 1000 Corpses on Oct. 8 and 11; 60th-anniversary screenings of The Birds on Oct. 22 and 23; The Met: Live in HD’s staging of Dead Man Walking on Oct. 21 and 25; and anime favorite Spirited Away from Oct. 28 to 31.