Houston Livestock Show and Rodeo

Houston Livestock Show and Rodeo is one of the biggest events in the state of Texas. It is actually the largest livestock exhibition in the world as well as the richest (in prize money) Professional Rodeo Cowboys Association event. The best time to go to Houston Rodeo is during the first three weeks in March, and you had better make your arrangements for flights and hotels as far in advance as possible. Houston Rodeo tickets are also at a premium, especially for the most hotly contested events and concerts with the biggest name performers.

The history of the city, the state of Texas, and the entire western United States are closely bound to the Houston Livestock Show and Rodeo traditions, which began when it was first held in 1932 and called the Fat Stock Show and Livestock Exposition.

Houston Rodeo tickets get you into some of the best live entertainment concerts available anywhere, with some of the biggest name performers in the business. This also is part of the history of the show, and the first name artist to appear was the Singing Cowboy, star Gene Autry in 1942. Other milestones include the show’s 1966 move to the Astrodome (now called the Reliant Stadium), the world’s first domed stadium. Once the home of the Houston Oilers (now the Tennessee Titans and based in Nashville) and the Astros (who now are based in the Minute Maid Field), this revolutionary stadium now only hosts special events—and the Houston Rodeo is one of them. In 1974, the first World’s Championship Bar B-Que Contest was held and Elvis Presley was the musical headliner. Over the next two decades, new educational scholarships were awarded, long standing ones increased in financial standing, and Tejano musician Selena set attendance records. Country music has always been important, but today you are just as apt to see Miley Cyrus and blues legend ZZ Top or Gladys Knight and Clint Black.

The Bar B-Que Contest is still a hotly-contested event. Other Houston Rodeo traditions include, of course, a traditional rodeo complete with rodeo clowns, bull riding, bucking broncos, and calf roping. The entire festive three weeks begins with a lavish parade through Downtown Houston, with mounted police, marching bands, colorful floats. Concerts, cooking, livestock judging, pig racing, livestock auctions, and other events fill the next three weeks. There’s even a carnival with amusement park rides to thrill all ages and a dining and shopping day, with restaurants, stores, galleries, and boutiques exhibiting. You can buy individual Houston Rodeo tickets for certain events as well as bulk tickets. Some events have free admission, and some ticket prices are reduced on certain days.

Actually, the festivities begin before the parade. More than a dozen different Trail Rides are organized and begin in different parts of the state from 66 to 386 miles away, all converging at Memorial Park where they camp and rest before joining the inaugural parade. These cavalcades of riders include cowboys, chuck wagons, covered wagons, and even stagecoaches, with all participants dressed in flashy authentic cowboy garb. The city of Houston encourages residents and visitors alike to dress in western wear for the duration of the show. When you spend your vacations here during the Houston Livestock Show and Rodeo you may find the wait staff at dining spots wearing ten-gallon hats and the clerk at the bank you visit looking like he or she is off to a square dancing contest. Even the cops you meet might be in western attire, especially the elite Texas Rangers. The legendary Rangers comprise the oldest law enforcement body in North America, and rival the Mounties of Canada in stature. These cops normally dress in western wear, topped by a Stetson hat, and proudly march in the parade on horseback.

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