Rodeo Houston: What is it, When is it and Why you should attend?
Houston is a diverse city known for amazing food, Energy, NASA and Beyonce. The city is the perfect mix of Southern charm with a hint of Louisiana flavor and a rich Western history. Each year around the beginning of Spring, Houston hosts the largest event of its kind in the world: The Houston Livestock Show and Rodeo.
The Rodeo is where every stereotype about Texas comes to life. The 10-gallon hats, pointy cowboy boots, mouth-watering Barbeque and country music are in full effect. For months, people all over the State of Texas and beyond, regardless of race or background, travel to Houston to participate in the Rodeo festivities. Surprisingly, many people from other parts of the country – aka anywhere outside of Texas – have never heard of the Houston Rodeo. If you are one of those people, you are missing out. If you enjoy experiencing new festivals and cultures, the Houston Rodeo is a great Spring Break or weekend getaway that won’t be too costly for the family.
Rodeo Houston consists of four parts: the BBQ cook-off, the livestock and horse show, the concerts and of course the actual Rodeo which is equivalent to the Superbowl for those who love the sport of bull-riding and mutton-busting.
The BBQ Cook-Off: The cook off is a large 3-day event that takes place the weekend before the Rodeo officially opens. It features some of the best BBQ in the world and showcases grill masters from all over the country. The fair grounds open at noon and remain open until midnight when the cook off turns into one big party filled with ribs, country bands, beer and carnival rides. Many of the tents require tickets that can be purchased with a charitable donation, but the fairgrounds are open to the public and offer plenty of vendors where you can sample barbeque for a small fee. Because of the alcohol consumption, the fairgrounds become 21 and up after a certain time; however, there are plenty of hours available for family fun.
Tasting BBQ at the Across the Track Tent
Because One Plate Isn’t Enough
The Livestock and Horse Show: This portion of the rodeo features more than 30,000 livestock and horses from exhibitors of all ages. Participants showcase their breeding skills, live birthings occur, and my favorite-the petting zoo-offers a chance for young children to play with sheep, lambs and pigs.
The Concerts: A main attraction of the rodeo are the concerts that take place each night and feature all of the major Country music artists including Luke Bryan, Garth Brooks, and Carrie Underwood. There are also specialty nights such as Black Heritage Day and Go Tejano Day celebrating Black and Latino contributions to Western culture which feature artists such as Alicia Keys and SIGGNO. There is even a night that caters to the younger generation where artists such as Fifth Harmony, Ariana Grande or Bruno Mars will perform.
Why you should go: Unlike many other annual events, the Rodeo is relatively inexpensive. When purchased in advance, concert tickets start around $19 and grant you access to the fairgrounds, rodeo, livestock and horse show and the concert that follows. Many of the supermarkets sell Carnival ticket packages and food is offered at normal carnival prices.
If you want to venture beyond the Rodeo, March is a great time of the year to escape the cold without having to melt from the smoldering Houston summer heat. Because the Rodeo season extends for a period of weeks, hotel prices don’t skyrocket and airbnbs are plentiful. Lastly, Houston is just an amazing city that should be at the top of everyone’s destination list.
So saddle up, dust off your cowboy boots or find a fun pair from DSW and head to Houston for your next family vacation or girls trip. Let’s Rodeo!