Graduations, Western Heritage Classic bring thousands to Abilene

Western Heritage Classic, college graduations bring droves of people to Abilene

ABILENE, Texas - The Western Heritage Classic and college graduations fall once again on the same weekend – and that means long lines and big crowds in Abilene.

Between 5,000 and 6,000 people will be visiting the Key City this weekend.

According to officials at Abilene hotels, they will be completely booked starting Friday night.

"It's going to be very busy," said Trish Dressen, communications director for the Abilene Convention and Visitors Bureau. "Restaurants are going to be full. Attractions are going to be packed. People are going to be at the zoo. People are going to be at Frontier Texas! People are going to be exploring our downtown."

"Just be patient," said Deborah Sanchez, director of sales at the MCM Elegante Suites. " It's going to be busy everywhere. Every single outlet is going to be busy, so just be patient."

People are visiting for the 30th annual Western Heritage Classic and friends and family are in town to attend college graduations at Abilene's universities.

"It's one of the busiest weekends of the year, but we've got several weekends where we sell out," Sanchez said. 

All those visitors will help support the local economy.

"They are going to be making a very positive impact on the amount of money that they bring into Abilene, so we just want to make sure and treat them as the valued guests that they are," Dressen said.

Dressen said the entire month of May is busy in Abilene.

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