Getting Inked Up, Downtown

It's one of the largest and most talked about tattoo festivals in the country, and it kicks off right here in Amarillo.

The 2014 Ink Life Tour brought hundreds of people to the civic center this weekend, to get inked.

An owner of the tour tells us every year they bring more than 250 artists from all over the world.  

As far as where the tour kicks off he says, there's no question about it.

George Galindo says, "it's like coming home every year.  I love Amarillo and that's why we always kick off in Amarillo every year."

Artist Amy Nicoletto says, "I always have such a great time and their response is overwhelming every time i've done this tour so,  it's pretty much a no brainer for me and I love Amarillo.  It's awesome here."

But, if tattoos aren't your thing, there was still plenty to do.

Galindo says, "we've got some really good vendors from all over the country, clothing, body jewelry, we've got a sideshow and a magic show for the kids."

February 16 was the final day of the three day event, and some lucky folks got to walk away with some free, fresh ink.

"We do free tattoo giveaways.  Usually we chose about 16-20 people to get a free tattoo on Sunday," says Galindo.

There were also some awards to give away for best chest piece, best back piece, and best arm sleeve, just to name a few.

We asked Nicoletto what makes a tattoo the best.

"You know what, it's all in the tattooer, as long as it's clean, it's done well, it's got a good composition, it's not any one particular thing it's just how it's executed to me," she tells us.

Galindo says the tour grows every year.

He says more folks this year headed to the civic center to get inked up than ever before.

"We love coming every year.  It's an annual stop that we look forward to and we're already planning for next year."

Galindo says the ink life tour will be making 9 stops this year.

They'll be heading to other Texas towns, Oklahoma. and then heading over to the east coast. 

The tour had quite an impact on our local economy.

Besides enjoying a lot of the great Texas panhandle entrees, he says they filled up about one hundred rooms at an Amarillo hotel.

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