DALHART, TX (KFDA) - In a couple of days, one of Texas' longest western traditions will turn 81, and it's all celebrated right here in the city of Dalhart.
The name XIT is famous all throughout Texas and surrounding states.
This huge reunion brings thousands to Dalhart's famous rodeo arena and is a special time to look back and remember our western heritage.
Back in the 1880's, the XIT Ranch was the largest fenced ranch in the world. This massive ranch covered portions of 10 counties where it got its name.
Every year, ranchers rounded up to celebrate their hard work.
"In the day, it was just a reason once a year to get together and see everybody because it was such a big ranch that covered so much area that only you get to see them once a year," said XIT Board Secretary Treasurer John Brewer. "And that was when they got to catch up, and they were all working towards the common goal but separated by a lot of land mass."
The XIT Rodeo was first celebrated in 1936 down in Forth Worth, but the following year, the festivities moved to Dalhart and haven't left since.
The three day event is held the first weekend of August, and thousand from across the Panhandle travel to Dalhart to experience the reunion.
"It definitely impacts the community in a positive way," said Brewer. "I feel like our community is progressive compared to a lot of towns, small towns you would think in the middle of nowhere America, so this even helps bring light to all the business we have here and mix in western heritages as part of it, and it's just something we are really proud of."
Throughout the rodeo, you can find everything from free food, live entertainment, and of course, a lot of rodeo activities such as steer roping, mutton busting and barrel racing.
"It's been one of the longest traditions in Texas as far as western sports goes, and it's all about the celebration of western heritage and the ranch that was up in this area that covered 10 counties," said Brewer. "So, it's a celebration of that, and it's a great time for friends and family to come together and just celebrate a rich tradition that we have here."
The famous XIT Rodeo will kick off next Thursday.