Texas Tech University

National Ranching Heritage Center

Annual Events

Ranch Day – April 15

Grand Champion

Both the young and young at heart enjoy our Ranch Day activities each spring when cowboys, horses, chuck wagons and 185 volunteers, many dressed in period clothing, make pioneer life come alive for visitors. More than 5,000 guests attend the popular event every year to participate in hands-on ranch or range science and history demonstrations as well as music, dancing, a Comanche tepee, horseback riding, and an old-fashioned "Snake Oil Magic Show" in the 6666 Barn. The 47th Annual Ranch Day will be Saturday, April 15 from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. The event is open to the public at no charge, but a $5 donation is suggested. The historic park is wheelchair and stroller accessible. 

Junior Rough Riders Corrals – April 22, July 29, Oct. 21, Dec. 2


Four times a year the National Ranching Heritage Center hosts a Saturday activity designed exclusively for children 5 to 12. Participation is free to children of RHA members but costs only $5 for children of non-members.

The next Junior Rough Rider event is Quailapalooza, a hands-on opportunity for children to study the Northern Bobwhite Quail and learn the science behind this treasured rangeland creature. Quailapalooza will be held from 1 to 3 p.m. on Saturday, April 22 at the NRHC. This event will focus on the Northern Bobwhite Quail and the science behind this treasured rangeland creature. Junior Rough Riders will learn why scientists study the bobwhite quail and will have the opportunity to see adult and baby quail, learn about quail tracking, and become familiar with the habitat where quail live.

Space is limited for Quailapalooza so make reservations now by contacting Shelby Schwartz at (806) 834-1225.

Summer Youth Classes – June 5-9


The NRHC will provide a variety of week-long summer youth classes June 5-9 for children who have completed the first through fifth grades. Children will participate in hands-on classes that will stimulate their imagination as they experience pioneer life as it was centuries ago, express themselves through ranch art, make a Western movie from their own script, and learn the basics of leather working. Classes will meet each morning from 8:30 to 12:30, and class size will be limited to 15 students.

Register for classes.

Download the brochure.

Summer Stampede Western Art and Gear Show – June 17


Western art and gear collectors will have an opportunity not only to purchase new art pieces but also to meet nearly 30 outstanding artists and craftsmen exhibiting their work for sale at Summer Stampede Western Art and Gear Show from 6 to 11 p.m. Saturday, June 17.

Sponsored by Capital Farm Credit, this annual event will feature more than 100 art pieces available for purchase in the museum galleries while Summer Stampede guests dine and dance to the Western swing music of Jake Hooker and the Outsiders. Tickets cost $85 for the general public and $75 for RHA members. Only a limited number of tickets are available and can be purchased at ranchingheritage.org or by calling (806) 834-0469. 

Candlelight at the Ranch – December 8-9


Visitors to the National Ranching Heritage Center will step into a "living Christmas card" from 6:30 to 9 p.m. Dec. 8-9 when the 39th Annual Candlelight at the Ranch recreates a frontier holiday similar to those on the open prairie from 1780 to 1950. The event will include more than 4,000 luminaries lining the paths of the historic park as volunteer Ranch Hosts dress in period clothing to recreate holiday scenes from another era. The event is free to the public with a minimum suggested $5 donation per family.

Guests enter through the front doors and proceed to Campbell Patio, where they can buy kettle corn, hear Christmas carols provided by the Lubbock High School choir, and access the park trails of their choice. Santa Claus greets visitors in the Pitchfork Pavilion, and Brazos West provides cowboy Christmas music with a Texas swing in the 6666 Barn. All lighted pathways are stroller and wheelchair accessible.

Western Art Contest - January 2018

Western Art Contest

Lubbock County youth from 11 to 19 years old submit Western art entries for the annual Western Art Contest sponsored each January by the National Ranching Heritage Center and the Lubbock County Junior Livestock Show. Winning entries are announced at an awards ceremony at the NRHC and receive cash prizes and ribbons in addition to a one-week display in the NRHC museum.


National Ranching Heritage Center