Abilene’s top things to look forward to in 2020

Positive News

2020 is now here and with it comes a myriad of exciting events and endeavors for Abilene. Check out some of what’s to come this year:

Continued growth of Downtown Abilene

Photo: Abilene Drone

It’s clear just by driving through downtown Abilene that growth is happening. From real estate projects to a new brewery, more growth is expected in 2020.


Construction of the new downtown hotel

Photo: City of Abilene

Years in the making, Abilene’s Downtown Convention Center Hotel will soon start to take shape. Construction is slated to begin in late summer.


Continued growth of the SoDA District

Photo: Abilene Drone

The area South of Downtown Abilene, now affectionately dubbed the SoDA District, is experiencing heavy growth. Entrepreneurs have taken this seemingly forgotten section of town and made it a hub for unique spaces and hangouts. 2020 is expected to see even more growth with more development planned.


Continued growth at Taylor County Expo Center

Photo: Taylor County Expo Center, via Lee Lewis Construction, Inc.

If you went to the West Texas Fair & Rodeo in 2019, then you know there have been some big changes at the Taylor County Expo Center. Phase 2 is underway and that included the fair midway area. It also includes the new dirt arena. The new arena will replace the use of the Coliseum for all dirt events. Expo Center officials said the new arena is expected to come online in time for Western Heritage Days in May. Phase 3, set to start in June, will renovate the Coliseum.


Completion of the AYSA Dodge Jones Youth Sports Center

Photo: AYSA rendering

The all-new Dodge Jones Youth Sports Center will soon be complete. Located in Grover Nelson Park, the center will become the Abilene Youth Sports Authority’s (AYSA) hub. It’s expected to become a major destination for youth sports.


10th Annual Outlaws & Legends Music Fest

Photo: Abilene Drone

Outlaws and Legends returns for its 10th year and this one promises to be bigger than ever. It’s slated for March 20-21 and Willie Nelson is headlining. Other notable country music artists will also perform: Randy Houser, Mark Powell, Kevin Fowler, Deana Carter, Radney Foster, and more.


50th Annual West Texas REHAB Telethon

Photo: WTRC

Celebrating 50 years will be the West Texas Rehabilitation Center’s telethon. This year’s event is set for Saturday, January 18 and features Lindsay Ell and Neal McCoy. The telethon happens at the Abilene Convention Center and also airs on KTAB.


Dyess Big Country Air & Space Expo

Photo: Dyess Big Country Air & Space Expo

2020’s Dyess Big Country AirFest, on May 9-10, is set to feature the U.S. Navy’s Blue Angels.


Children’s Art & Literacy Festival (CALF)

Photo: CALF

Abilene, now the proud “Storybook Capital of America,” is presenting the 2020 Children’s Art & Literacy Festival on June 11-13. This year’s festival features Loren Long.

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