With armadillos scurrying around its grand foyer, Rattlesnake beer on tap and mariachis in the background, the Kennedy Center celebrated Texas Independence Day on Saturday with a Lone Star bash.

The Texas nine-banded armadillos - Arnie, Little Tex and Knight in Shining Armor - came from New Braunfels with Cowboy Tony and Armadillo Jim to mark the box office opening for the center's Texas Festival, the first state festival at the nation's center for the performing arts.Kennedy Center officials say they hope to plan other such state festivals.

Texas performers will appear June 11-22. There will be country and Cajun, blues, folk and western swing, folklorico and ballet, drama, symphonies and string quartets.

President Bush, an adopted Texan, and Barbara Bush have agreed to serve as honorary chairpersons of the event, while other Texans are working to raise $2 million in corporate contributions.