My First Great Big 4th of July Night at Palo Duro Canyon With the Texas Outdoor Musical [Photos]
It was my first trip up to Palo Duro Canyon for the Texas Outdoor Musical, and what a great and wild ride it was!
We started out with a sunshiney West Texas day. The canyon was beautiful, with deep grassy greens accented by rich red dirt and stunning cliffs. Being there to witness something this enduring, bold and beautiful was stellar, but that was only the beginning.
The scenic view vantage point seen in the photos above were captured at the pull-off area alongside the canyon road enroute to the Texas Outdoor Musical.
There was a friendly crowd milling about and helping each other take pictures. Some were there for the first time, some had traveled many miles and some were veterans, bringing out-of-town visitors to enjoy the canyon, the barbecue and the musical.
We proceeded down the canyon road to the musical. I hadn't bought tickets in advance online since the website showed there was plenty of availability. (Note to self, next time it might be better to buy them ahead of time.)
It seems everyone had the same idea, and according to the friendly and helpful worker at the ticket window, the theater had filled up quickly in the fifteen minutes just before our arrival. We were still able to get some pretty good seats; there really isn't a bad seat in the house.
With tickets in hand, we made our way to the barbecue dinner. On the way, we were side-tracked by some unique crafts and vendors and the gift shop full of great Texas/cowboy stuff. I wanted one of everything, but finally decided on a coaster that says 'God Bless Country Music' (Amen!) and a Texas Outdoor Musical show program.
There was a bit of a line for the barbecue dinner, but it only took us a few minutes to get through. We filled our plates with delicious brisket, sausage, beans, coleslaw, and potato salad, with cobbler for dessert, and found a picnic table with a nice view of the red rock cliffs of Palo Duro Canyon. It was all good.
After dinner, we had time to relax. We brought our purchases back to the car just in time to witness an employee with a big snake catcher stick carrying a rattler right past us to release into the wild. The adventure was beginning to get wilder!
I had an eye on the sky because we had a chance of evening showers, and a few dark clouds seemed to be edging their way toward us. We found our seats and thoroughly enjoyed the first half of the show. It wasn't until after intermission that things started to get a little windy.
Lightning was visible in the distance, and soon the wind began to kick up. The show had its own special weather effects, which made it difficult to tell what was really happening. As things grew more stormy and we were beginning to get wet, some of the audience took their leave.
It was a rare moment when the wind blew up a big white plastic bag which managed to slightly upstage the show as it swished across the sky above the crowd and eventually landed on me. What were the odds?!
As the weather grew worse and more folks began to leave, I couldn't help but wonder when they would decide to end the show. The stage was pretty well protected from the weather and the show was continuing without issue.
The action on stage shifted as dancers dressed in red, white and blue filled the stage, boldly carrying on in spite of the weather. It wasn't until a big piece of the set (which was half of a house on wheels) blew from backstage out into their midst, with stage hands on the run, that everyone had to stop and sidestep imminent disaster. No one appeared to be injured, and an announcement was made that ended the show.
It was hailing all over us as we ran to the car and weather conditions were pretty wild. We found ourselves chewing on sandy Texas red dirt grit as we followed the long line of cars back up that canyon road.
All in all, we loved the show! It was a great storyline with so much going on at times we didn't know where to look. The dancing and singing was colorful and fabulous. There was some real wonderful talent that brought big laughs and applause from the audience.
I'd recommend buying tickets ahead and not waiting until the last minute to evacuate due to inclement weather. But we look forward to another opportunity to do it all again!
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