By Alexandra Dedovitch
Odessa is no run-of-the-mill, small West Texas town. In Odessa, they turn up the volume on their cultural attractions and give a hearty round of applause for their arts scene. Read on to discover all that’s in store once you arrive.
Big things are happening in May! Odessa Mural Fest is a thrilling annual event coming to a West Texas town near you. A celebration honoring the creative arts in Odessa, Mural Fest features five brand-new, live painted murals for your viewing pleasure. Located in bustling Downtown Odessa, watch the street canvases come alive before your very eyes and participate in the exciting action.
Included in these free, all-ages festivities is a live music concert, food & art vendors, a children’s area, painted pianos for you to play a tune on, and two totally unique attractions – The Bike Zoo and Paradox Traveling Art.
Don’t be discouraged if you can’t make it to Odessa for Mural Fest in May. You can take a trip on the Odessa Mural Trail to catch all the impressively bold and vibrant murals already in existence or make your way to Odessa after May to set your sights on the new ones created. The art murals are generously scattered all throughout Downtown Odessa, so don’t be shy!
For a night of pure entertainment, mark your calendar for any one of the many performances hosted at the Wagner Noel Performing Arts Center. From rocking concerts by big name artists and unforgettable, “I know every word to this song” popular musicals to belly-roaring comedy and edge-of-your-seat theatrical plays, Wagner Noel truly has it all.
This special venue also features the heart-swaying, classical productions by the West Texas Symphony, formerly known as the Midland-Odessa Symphony & Chorale. You are going to find your bliss on your trip to Odessa after attending a performance at this stunning arts center.
For Shakespeare lovers, true bardolaters, and those who simply love riveting performances combined with truly classic design, you will be in awe of the Globe of the Great Southwest Theatre. Also known as the Globe Theatre at Odessa College, this large-scale performance venue is inspired by the authentic London Globe Theatre. The original Globe Theatre was built in 1599 in London and showcased many traditional performances by William Shakespeare. It’s well-known world-wide across many different performing arts channels, and visitors venture to Odessa to simply relish in its replication.
Its rounded shape pays tribute to its name, and the Globe Theatre in Odessa, built in 1948, continues this tradition. Hosting many exciting live performances and community events for both locals and visitors to enjoy, be sure to stop by the Globe of the Great Southwest, conveniently located on Shakespeare Road, during your stay in Odessa.
The Ector Theatre is the hot spot for live performances, especially if you enjoy a variety of musical genres and a myriad of productions. From bring down the house local acts and knee-slapping comics to globally acclaimed performers and Texas storytellers, you’ll find versatile style and exceptional talent ongoing, all throughout the year.
The theatre itself is almost as good as who you see perform on stage. The Ector is an attractive and vintage theatre with over 750 seats and a fully stocked bar. Visitors can’t miss its glowing neon marquee sign ushering patrons in for a night of uplifting entertainment.
“The Greatest Stage in West Texas,” true-hearted theatergoers will want to grab their ticket to Basin Theatre Work’s Permian Playhouse on their visit to Odessa. Talented actors take the stage in low-key, down-to-earth, and mood setting performances. Not your obtrusive NYC Broadway theatrical acts, this is an authentic playhouse with compelling and captivating shows for audiences eager to get lost in the narrative of the production.
Of course, it isn’t all dialogue and prose, comedic plays are showcased as laughter abounds and hilarity ensues. No matter which of the many provocative shows performed year-round you attend, be prepared for an evening of soulful and spellbound transformation through the art of theater at the Permian Playhouse.
You won’t have to travel over 4,000 miles to see one of the Seven Wonders of the Ancient World, you simply need to get on over to Odessa, Texas to be in the presence of a real-life rendition of Stonehenge. This astronomical marvel is located at the entrance of the University of Texas Permian Basin. Made from genuine limestone, some slabs of stone are nearly 19-feet tall and overall, it is about 70% in size vertically to the original Stonehenge, and 100% exact in size horizontally. Pretty darn close to the England Stonehenge original.
Another natural work of art, with absolutely no aid from mankind, is before your eyes: the most extraordinary hole you’ve ever seen! The Odessa Meteor Crater was formed from “outer space material” over 62,000 years ago. Its exact origins are still unknown, but it’s worth seeing the enormous impact meteoritic bodies make on our earth’s surface in the habitable landscape of West Texas. A real crowd pleaser for all ages, and a bona fide head-turner for your inner scientist.
Hop along the bunny trail to see a very exclusive feature of artistic Odessa – 31 uniquely painted Jackrabbit statues sprawled throughout town. In fact, Odessa offers Jackrabbit Jamboree Passes for visitors inspired to check out, (and to check-in!) at 16 of the 31 jackrabbit locations to pick up a fun prize at the end of their romp around town. Be sure to take plenty of selfies and hashtag #discoverodessa, a city full of art along the way.
You will love the diverse selection of overnight accommodations, including MCM Grande Hotel Fundome and Odessa Marriot Hotel. Beaming with boundless amounts of artistic ingenuity, you are sure to have a fruitful experience filled with possibility.
Odessa is a small town with a BIG arts scene! Discover these six art and cultural attractions, along with many other attractions to explore, during your visit to Odessa,TX.
About the Author: Alexandra is the head writer and digital content creator for Tour Texas. She is an avid traveler, lover of the arts, and enthusiast of all things Texas!