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Overview of Canyon

Making the most of every moment.
It’s quite a moment, on a summer evening in Palo Duro Canyon State Park. A lone rider appears at the top of a sandstone cliff six hundred feet above the crowd watching from below in the seats of the Pioneer Amphitheater. The rider waves a Texas flag and vanishes. Despite the warm temperature, the audience feels a shiver of excitement, for this is the electrifying cue that kicks off the annual production of “Texas.” The action-packed musical extravaganza, the official play of the State of Texas, is a beloved 50-year tradition that draws visitors from across the state and the nation. More than 60 performers grace the stage with song, dance, Texas humor and action, all capped with a fireworks display as dramatic as the play’s beginning.

It was quite a moment for Hattie Anderson—and for Texas. The year was 1920, when American women had just been granted the right to vote. That’s when West Texas Normal College professor Hattie Anderson had a vision for preserving the human and natural history of Texas and the Texas Panhandle, and not her gender and not even the Great Depression could destroy the dream. In 1933, the Panhandle-Plains Historical Museum, then and now Texas’ largest historical museum, opened the doors to its majestic Art Deco-styled home. Today, the PPHM attracts more than 52,000 visitors annually (more than half come from out of the area) and as it creates a deeper, broader understanding of Texas history, it brings over $6 million in total economic impact.

History is made up of important moments and life is made of special moments. Here in Canyon, residents find they can make the most of every moment in a city where quality runs as deep and solid as the canyon walls of Palo Duro.

Rock-solid foundation: Canyon provides the right foundation for families and children, beginning with educational opportunity and excellence. Canyon’s P-12 schools produce ACT scores higher than the Texas state average and higher than any of 8 neighboring school districts, including Amarillo’s. At West Texas A&M young people are launched to careers of distinction, while Canyon residents are afforded life-long learning options.

Canyon offers residents a life they can love, in a low-cost city set against the beautiful backdrop Palo Duro and hundreds of acres of well-tended parks. It’s a children’s paradise—so many places to play and 250 days of sunshine. It’s a haven for tax payers, as well. Progressive city leadership leverages Texas’ 4B sales tax to create managed growth and to nurture quality of life as well as commerce.

Canyon makes the most of every moment and every dollar, combining one of the lowest tax rates in the state with a strategic commitment to service. Just one example: Canyon’s fire department, while heavily staffed with volunteers, has earned state-wide recognition as the second-best fire department in all of Texas. It’s a quality that has a ripple effect resulting in Canyon’s insurance rating (ISO) of 3, which in turn lowers residents’ homeowner insurance rates.

An independent spirit infused with the care for each other. That’s the nature and character of Canyon, visible everywhere you look, from the breathtaking expanse of sandstone cliffs, to the charming and historic brick streets of a Texas Main Street Community, to the quality of a people rooted in pioneer values but with their eyes firmly on the future.

With all this to offer, Canyon’s moment—your moment—is now. It’s time to make the most of it.

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