Ready for the Rodeo?


Sophia Dinubilo

The Houston Livestock Show and Rodeo has begun at the NRG Stadium in downtown Houston. The rodeo is an annual event filled with live music, carnival games and rides, livestock, unique vendors, and many daily activities. The rodeo officially starts February 28th and ends Mar. 19th, but some pre-rodeo activities such as the popular Bar-B-Que cookoff and the downtown rodeo parade began as early as Feb. 23rd. Most people recognize the rodeo for all these entertaining events, but the mission of the Rodeo is deeper than just hosting a fun time for all.

The Houston Livestock Show and Rodeo promotes Texas agriculture by hosting an experience that educates the public, supports students and youth in agriculture, showcases Western heritage and provides year-round educational support within the community. The Houston Livestock Show and Rodeo junior market auctions reward FFA high school students for their hard work year round. There are auctions and sales for various student raised livestock, such as steer, lamb, goats, and even turkeys. Buyers of the livestock are not only supporting the exhibitors who are selling their livestock, but the bids also go toward funding scholarships and educational programs for the youth of Texas. Also, various commercial livestock sales are held during the Rodeo. Since the Rodeo’s opening in 1932, the Rodeo has committed more than $575 million to Texas youth and education. 

Each night, once the Rodeo dust settles, a superstar takes the stage to entertain the rodeo crowd in NRG arena. This year, the opening performance for the Houston Rodeo is former class of 2011 College Park graduate, Parker McCollum. Parker’s opening act is Tuesday, Feb. 28th at 6:45pm. The day before, on Monday Feb. 27th, Parker worked the drive-thru at Raising Cane’s Chicken Fingers in Conroe. His service at the fast food restaurant drew in fans from all over The Woodlands and Conroe area. Parker will be performing some of his biggest hits at the Rodeo, such as: “Pretty Heart”, “Hell of a Year”, “I Can’t Breathe”, “Like a Cowboy”, and “To Be Loved by You.” Following Parker McCollum, the concert lineup consists of country stars such as Jon Pardi, Luke Bryan, Brad Paisley, Cody Johnson, and Chris Stapleton. 

The carnival is one of the biggest attractions that the Rodeo has to offer. FastPass tickets are $25 dollars each person, granting access to any ride and unlimited amount of times. Singular ride tickets are 50 cents each, and most rides require 5-20 tickets. Carnival food consists of Rodeo signatures such as turkey legs, corn dogs, funnel cakes and cotton candy.  There are also countless shopping opportunities at the Houston Rodeo. With over 300 different vendors, there is something for everyone to love. 

But perhaps, the most well known aspect of the Houston Livestock Rodeo is the Super- Series competition. The competition consists of many different events, such as: steer wrestling, bull riding, tie-down riding, bareback riding, team roping, the calf scramble, and mutton bustin’.  The champions of each of these events are awarded $50,000 a custom saddle belt and buckle, and an invitation to compete in the rodeo the next year. The Rodeo tournament consists of 20 days of pure competition and exhilarating fun. 

As the Houston Livestock Show and Rodeo starts, keep in mind the countless opportunities of fun and entertainment the Rodeo has to offer. There is something for everyone at the Houston Livestock Show and Rodeo!