Categories: UncategorizedPublished On: June 29th, 2023

This article originally appeared in the Hobbs News-Sun

“There is a lot going on here!” 

That’s what the consultants said when we asked them to evaluate arts and culture in Lea County.  It is always nice to get an outside perspective of our community, but especially when it is overwhelmingly positive.

Lea County is busting at the seams with things to do.  Look at what happened in the past few weeks.  Smokin’ on the Plaza in Lovington accompanied its barbecue competition with some big-name artists like American Aquarium and Pat Green.  The Western Heritage Museum opened an impressive and hard-to-get exhibit with Chocolate: The Exhibition.  The CORE, together with United Way of Lea County, produced the first ever wheelchair basketball tournament in Hobbs and brought players from San Antonio, Ft. Worth, and Albuquerque.  The JF Maddox Foundation brought in Amy Van Dyken to inspire and carry on the Jack Maddox Distinguished Lecture Series.  Not bad for a couple of weeks in June!

Personally, I missed some of the events.  I did not hear Pat Green sing Wave on Wave, but my son played in the foam party and roller skated in Downtown Lovington.  Although I have eaten plenty of chocolate in June, I haven’t taken my family to see the exhibit yet.  We will make it to the Western Heritage Museum, but we missed the opening.  Yet, I don’t have to attend them all to appreciate the vast number of activities available for our community.

You won’t hear me say, “there’s nothing to do here.” For me, there is too much to do here!  I would love to pay Lubbock or Midland a visit every now and then, but I cannot get away from all the engaging activities this place has to offer!

In the next few weeks Lea County communities will host several Fourth of July Celebrations, Dear Edwina, Jr. at the Community Playhouse, Hobbs August Nites festival, and the Lea County Fair and Rodeo.  You will see concerts, exhibitions, author readings, food trucks, and so much more.  From Jal to Tatum, Lea County is busting at the seams with things to do.

If you are looking for things to do, I invite you to check out the community calendar website,  If you are hosting an event and want to get the word out, add it there.  Don’t let the name fool you, it is meant for all communities across Lea County.  My one recommendation is to be careful – once you start filling your calendar with things to do in Lea County, you are going to find it very difficult to squeeze in those occasional trips to Lubbock and Midland.  I think those sleepy little towns may learn a thing or two from us!

David Reed is the COO at the JF Maddox Foundation, a family foundation in Lea County, New Mexico.  Alongside its partners, the foundation invests in education, social services, and community development for a greater quality of life for Lea County residents.