By Emilie Hornak: PNT Correspondent
Joe’s Boot Shop has redefined the meaning of customer appreciation over the years with its annual July 4th Great Tent Event. You don’t even have to be a customer to appreciate it.
Store patrons can expect live music and free drinks as the Western apparel and supplies store on Mabry Drive raises its tent for three days of entertainment this weekend.
“At first, (owners) Joe and Darla (Rhodes) cooked seven briskets in his yard and hired a band. It was a customer appreciation thing,” said Scot Stinnett, advertising director for Joe’s Boot Shop. “They had the event there for four or five years before they got a tent so all of the boots could be displayed. It was basically in their front and back yards. They had free food and drinks for everyone, and now, 21 years later, we have a deal where (the event) is going for three days.”
This year’s event, kicking off Friday, will continue Saturday and Monday.
Customers who purchase a pair of boots from Joe’s during the event will be treated to their choice of barbecue.
There’s no charge for listening to the sounds of regionally recognized country performers Asleep at the Wheel, Johnny Rodriguez, Emilio, Tommy Overstreet and Jody Miller.
Up and coming groups from the area will also entertain crowds. Those artists include Curtis Potter, New Mexican Luke Reed and, coming from Logan, the Santa Fe Band.
One of the event’s mainstays, Muleshoe Assembly of God preacher Jack Stone, will perform Gospel songs.
“I enjoy going back every year,” Stone said. “I get a chance to see a lot of the friends I’ve made over the years through the event. It’s like a reunion.”
The performances are slated from 10:30 a.m. until about 6 p.m. each day.
Shuttles are available from the parking lots located behind Hamilton Ford and Bender Nissan.
“It’s just an awesome event,” Stone said. “It draws so many people in because of its wonderful entertainment.
“They just offer the whole community a variety of music. … They’re everything for everybody.”