Some great things happened in Abilene in 2018 and we want to be sure we highlight some of the stories that make us proud to live in the Key City. 

10. Abilene gets new fire stations

Abilene proudly boasted two new fire stations in 2019. Station #3 and Station #7 were completed in March. The stations featured a new type of garage door, designed to increase efficiency and reduce response times. 

9. Outlaws & Legends has record turnout

In its 8th year, the 2018 Outlaws & Legends Music Fest saw record turnout which translated to a record donation of $60,000 to its beneficiary, Ben Richey Boys Ranch. Nearly 10,000 people attended the weekend music fest in March, up 22 percent from 2017. The event is now a staple of Abilene, contributing to the city’s tourism dollars. Click here for the lineup and ticket information for the 2019 music fest. 

8. School nurse saves teacher’s life

Angela Valentine, a school nurse at Bowie Elementary, is credited with saving the life of a teacher in November. She performed CPR on the teacher until fire and EMS arrived. Abilene police awarded Valentine an award for her life-saving efforts.

7. Abilene’s biggest blood drive… ever!

The blood drive to honor fallen Abilene police officer Rodney Holder was the most successful one yet. In its 8th year, the total number of donations hit 283, surpassing 2017’s total of 238. The “guns” won the competition this year in the friendly competition that pits firefighters against police officers.

6. City of Abilene/Dyess AFB partnership saves base $250K

In a continued supportive relationship, the City of Abilene and Dyess Air Force Base reached an agreement where the City will provide solid waste management for the base, resulting in $250,000 in savings for the base. 

5. Abilene Gives raises $551,000 in 24 hours 

In its second year, Abilene Gives, spearheaded by the Community Foundation of Abilene helped raise more than $550,000 for local nonprofit organizations. It was a 24-hour day of online giving with amplifications and grants. 2019’s date is already set for May 7. 

4. Abilene restaurant manager saves child’s life

Abilene Outback Manager Patricia Newman was praised for helping save the life of a baby who hit his head on pavement outside the restaurant. Newman helped get the baby to breathe again. The baby eventually was released from the hospital.

3. Abilene makes significant progress with homeless initiatives

Abilene did the “100 Day Challenge” which aimed to house at least 50 homeless neighbors. At the end of the 100 days, a total of 60 people found new homes. The Mayor also has an initiative to house homeless veterans which is underway.

2. Abilene named the Storybook Capital of America 

Abilene has now been dubbed the Storybook Capital of America. Abilene has a legacy of supporting the arts, especially literature arts. It’s the home of the National Center for Children’s Illustrated Literature and also the famous CALF (Children’s Art & Literacy Festival). 

1. Dyess AFB in line to get the B-21

In what could be the best new of the year. Dyess Air Force Base is on track to receive the B-21 Raider. This new bomber would replace the B-1. Dyess hopes to become the training base for the bomber.