Make your plans to attend the 28th Annual Western Heritage Classic (WHC) tomorrow, May 10, through Saturday May 12. Held at the Taylor County Expo Center, this Abilene legendary event will showcase the essence of cowboy lifestyle and history: whether you’ve lived here your entire life or plan to have visitors, I am sure you will have fun, learn something new and make a few lasting memories.

The weekend festivities kick off with a free parade and street dance on 6:30 p.m. Wagons, riding clubs, antique cars and tractors, bands and floats all sport a western theme in this colorful display and celebrate into the night on the historic streets of downtown Abilene with dancing, food and western merriment. Enjoy the Center for Contemporary Arts “Cowboy Up” themed ArtWalk in conjunction with the parade and festivities.

The WHC Ranch Rodeo kicks off at 8:00 p.m. Friday and Saturday nights in the Coliseum. Working cowboys compete in various events designed to test their ranch-handling skills like roping, bronc riding, team penning and more. Other events the Rhinestone Round Up Gala Friday night for a bit of glamour and the Chuck Wagon Cook-Off for a bit of yummy! Kiddos will love the children’s events including the Stick Horse Rodeo, Steer Dummying Roping Contest and more! For more information or to purchase tickets, please visit, or call (325) 677-4376. For lodging reservations visit

Need a laugh? Head down to the Historic Paramount Theatre to watch the 1935 screwball comedy, “Top Hat,” starring Fred Astaire and Ginger Rogers. Enjoy this classic musical about mistaken identity, show business and love.  Show times are 7:30 p.m. on Friday and 2 p.m. and 7:30 p.m. on Saturday. Cost is $6 for adults, $5 for students, seniors, military and children. Call 325-676-9620 for tickets.

Grab a lawn chair and take the short ride to Coronado’s Camp to enjoy the Elm Valley Bluegrass Festival Saturday from 10 a.m. to 9 p.m.. Enjoy great food, door prizes and great music from Salt Kreek, Acoustic Brand, Pleasant Valley and other talented bands. Cost is $10 per person and free for children 12 and younger. Call 325-725-6653 or 325-338-1470 for more information.

Take part in the Chautaugua Learning Series in Buffalo Gap this Saturday from 11 a.m. 12:30 p.m. The topic this month will the Best of Chautauqua which is based on the Chautauqua movement which spread through the rural US in the late 19th and earth 20 centuries. The movement provided educational lectures and entertainment for the average American before the advent of mass media like radio, television and the internet. Use this as an opportunity to unplug and reenergize. Cost is $7 per person and free for members. Call 325-572-3365 or visit for more information.

If you visit, support or share or local events to others, know that you are an advocate for tourism and we appreciate you! We invite you to join us in the celebration of National Travel and Tourism week the next few days. How important is tourism and travel to the Abilene economy? The answer may surprise you. On a local level, the Abilene travel and tourism industry generated $364.5 million dollars in economic impact, over 3,480 jobs and $6.2 million dollars in tax revenue last year alone. Residents of Abilene save $800 in taxes every year because of travel. Travel is a broad and diverse industry employing a vast workforce, from airline and hotel employees to restaurant, attraction and retail workers. So join us in making Abilene a destination for your business contacts, friends and family! Abilene really is where memories are made.

Happy memory makin’, y’all!