The beginning of August means one thing in the Panhandle: it’s time for the XIT Rodeo and Reunion. The annual event in Dalhart—held on the first weekend in August—celebrated its eighty-first year earlier this month. The event, which after its opening year in 1936 was permanently relocated to the northwest corner of the Panhandle, was a way for the cowboys from the original XIT ranch, which ceased operations in the early twentieth century, to get together and share stories. Chuck wagon fare was provided in the early days, but the three nights of rodeo and music are now centered around the “World’s Largest Free Barbecue” on Saturday afternoon. Locals call it “the Feed.”

Photographs by Ted Albracht