76th Annual XIT Rodeo rides again

What began as a tribute to the XIT Ranch cowboys has grown into a yearly event attracting thousands of people from all over the Texas Panhandle.

This is the 76th year for the XIT Rodeo & Reunion, planned to be bigger and better than years past.

"It was a get-together for them to come to every year and that's how it started," XIT Rodeo Director Mitchel Bezner said. "And it's just grown from that and it draws because it was such a vast area of the different counties that made up that ranch."

Making the event bigger- and fuller- is the world's largest free barbeque. More than 9,000 pounds of beef are cooked in underground pits for two days before it is served Saturday afternoon. Thanks to sponsorships and generosity from the community, the food is free.

"I think it's just a way of life up here," XIT Rodeo Director Seth Gustin added. "So many people in this community have served on this board or have family who were on the board. And, so, it's just something that we all look forward to every summer and it's just a great event."

And who could forget the XIT Rodeo Queen?

"After I got started, I thought, 'Wow, this is really awesome being a part of something this big,'" XIT Rodeo Queen Cassidy Horn said. "It's kind of a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to be able to represent this and I'm just so happy that I'm able to do it."

Texas tradition in a small Texas town- head out to Dalhart this weekend for a taste of the Lone Star State.

Click here for a list of all the rodeo events.