Events in Abilene

Abilene offers a wealth of adventure year-round, but its annual events and festivals give plenty of reason for you to check your calendar before you plan to visit. Rodeos, concerts, a film festival, and the world’s largest rattlesnake round-up are among the numerous events held in or near Abilene. To get the full picture, read the following list of annual events in Abilene to see what’s going on in town. For more information, click here to see Abilene’s calendar of events.


Grace After Dark
Take in an award-winning film on the rooftop of the historic Grace Hotel (now The Grace Museum) one night each month throughout the year.

Arrive early because only the first 100 people are admitted to the public, and free, screening.

If you’re hungry, make sure to stop by one of the food trucks that are open for a few hours before show time.
102 Cypress Street
Abilene, TX, 79601

Discover Abilene's thriving arts scene, and enjoy a fun night out on the town, during the monthly ArtWalk. Held every second Thursday, this family-friendly event sees the downtown area's art museums and galleries open their doors so you can browse the collections. The ArtWalks typically include live music, dances, and other kinds of performances featuring local artists and students. 
Downtown Area
Abilene, TX, 79601


Rattlesnake Round-Up
Every March, all sorts of rattlesnakes slither into Sweetwater for the world’s largest rattlesnake round-up. It all kicks off with a parade and a carnival, and continues on with a chili cook-off, gun and knife show, and daily guided hunts. There’s also a beard contest, so you’d better put away that razor.
110 Coliseum Drive
Sweetwater, TX 79556

Outlaws & Legends Music Fest
Don your Western wear and head over to the Back Porch of Texas in late March for two days of world-class Country music by some of the genre’s top performers. Top-billing artists like Deana Carter, Cory Morrow, and Jerry Jeff Walker have strutted their stuff at the fest in the past. Tickets are available on the event’s website.
3350 Clack Street
Abilene, TX 79601


Buffalo Gap Wine and Food Summit
Sample wines from around the world with a master sommelier, learn the art of cooking from a renowned chef, and munch on delicious food from Abilene-area food trucks at the summit. Held at the Perini Ranch Grounds for three days in late April, the event is intended to cultivate an appreciation of fine wine and good food.
3002 FM 89
Buffalo Gap, TX 79508

Key City Rhythm & Blues Festival
Enjoy a night of blues under the stars while you munch on tasty treats from local food trucks during the Key City Rhythm & Blues Festival. The three-day event, located at the Nelson Park Festival Gardens and the Courtyard/TownePlace Abilene Northeast, features live performances by blues artists and a gospel brunch.
East South 11th Street and Loop 322
Abilene, TX 79602


Western Heritage Classic Ranch Rodeo
Celebrate all that makes the West great at this ranch rodeo. Watch matched horse races and the ranch rodeo, which is made up of events like branding, cow milking, and bronc riding, then savor the unique cowboy cuisine at the chuck wagon cook-off. The finals of the Ranch Horse Association of America horse competition is held throughout the rodeo, giving you the chance to see some of the best in the business vie for the title of best in the world.
1700 TX-36
Abilene, TX 79602


Children’s Art and Literacy Festival
Downtown Abilene is home to 24 statues of iconic characters from classic children’s literature, making it the Official Storybook Capital of Texas. So where better to have a fun and family-friendly event dedicated to the colorful figures that sparked the imaginations of children around the world. The festival includes a parade, art exhibits, and hands-on activities for the young and young at heart.
Downtown Area
Abilene, TX 79601


West Texas Fair & Rodeo
Indulgent fair food, exciting carnival rides, and a PRCA-sanctioned rodeo are a few of the headliners at the West Texas Fair & Rodeo in Abilene. Check out the livestock show, listen to musicians from across the Lone Star State, and watch budding cowboys and cowgirls do some good old-fashioned mutton bustin’. The 10-day fair and rodeo runs through the middle of September at the Taylor County Expo Center.
1700 TX-36
Abilene, TX 79602

Big Country Balloon Fest
Dozens of colorful hot air balloons fill the wide-open skies above Abilene for this annual festival that takes place during the last weekend of September. Climb aboard one of the balloons or partake in any of the event’s other family-friendly attractions, such as horseback rides, a climbing wall, a wide variety of food, and live music.
Ivanhoe Lane
Abilene, TX 79605


24fps International Short Film Festival
Talented filmmakers from around the world converge on Abilene’s historic Paramount Theatre for this short film festival held in early November. The high-quality movies screened throughout the festival are part of a juried competition that yields cash prizes for the winners. Tickets are available on the event’s website.
352 Cypress Street
Abilene, TX 79601

City Sidewalks and KXVA Fox Christmas Parade
In late November, downtown Abilene becomes a Christmas wonderland as its shops, museums, and galleries greet the season with festive cheer. Browse the shops to get an early start on your holiday shopping, then watch the tree lighting ceremony and the Christmas Lights Parade.
1101 North 1st Street
Abilene, TX 79601

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