HLSR: Everything you need to know before you rodeo!
Author: Michelle Homer
Published: 8:56 AM CST February 23, 2018

RodeoHouston is almost here and that means it’s time to polish up those boots, dust off your cowboy hat and kick up your heels!

For those of you who aren’t from around these parts -- and anyone else who's not a rodeo regular -- we’ve compiled this guide to help you navigate the huge three-week event.


HLSR: Everything you need to know before you rodeo!

Chapter 1

Why should you go?

Back in the 1950s, the rodeo was known as the Fat Stock Show. (Cay Dickson photo)

There are a bunch of reasons the Houston Livestock Show and Rodeo attracts millions of country and city folk every year. We’ve compiled our own top 11 list:

1. It’s a fun family event with something for everyone

2. It’s a good bang for your buck

3. From bull riding to barrel racing, the rodeo events are exciting!

4. The kids who take part in the mutton bustin’ and calf scramble each night will make your heart smile.

The mutton bustin' is a nightly favorite at RodeoHouston. (HLSR photo)

5. The nightly concerts include a diverse lineup of country, pop, rock, R&B and Latin music.

6. Where else can you see a top-notch entertainer and the world’s largest rodeo for as little as 18 bucks?

7. The food is fabulous! Bring an empty stomach and leave your diet at home.

8. You can get up close and personal with pigs, cows, llamas, bunnies and all kinds of livestock.

9. You can see calves enter the world and watch baby chicks hatch in the Agventure area.

10. There’s shopping galore!

11. From pint-sized cowpokes to country club cowboys to the real deal, the people watching alone is worth the ticket price!

Photos: Cute cowpokes at RodeoHouston

Chapter 2

It’s for a great cause!

Since the Houston Livestock Show and Rodeo™ began in 1932, more than $430 million has been committed to the youth of Texas. The Show has presented nearly 17,000 scholarships since the first one was awarded in 1957.

Currently, more than 2,400 students are on HLSR scholarships, attending more than 80 different Texas colleges and universities.

Any high school graduate who lives in the Lone Star State and plans to attend a Texas university is eligible. Click here for more information on how to apply.

These bull fighters (aka rodeo clowns) risk their lives each night to keep the bullriders safe. (HLSR photo)
Chapter 3

Party with your boots on!

If you’re looking for a fun date night with your sweetie, a spring break outing with your besties or a great way to entertain the kiddos, RodeoHouston is just the ticket.

It kicks off inside NRG Stadium each night with rodeo competition featuring some of the top cowboys and cowgirls in the country. It’s a 19-day tournament-style competition that awards cash to the top scorers each night. The final weekend, event champions will be crowned in bareback riding, bull riding, saddle bronc riding, steer wrestling, tie-down roping, team roping and women’s barrel racing. Each champion gets $50,000, a custom saddle and belt buckle and bragging rights.

Photos: 2018 RodeoHouston entertainers

The rodeo competition is followed by a nightly concert. This year's entertainers will strut their stuff on a brand new star-shaped stage.

Here’s the 2018 lineup:

  • Tues., Feb. 27: Garth Brooks
  • Wed., Feb. 28: Little Big Town
  • Thurs., March 1: Blake Shelton
  • Fri., March 2: Leon Bridges
  • Sat., March 3: Kelsea Ballerini
  • Sun., March 4: Alessia Cara
  • Mon., March 5: Rascal Flatts
  • Tues., March 6: Jason Aldean
  • Wed., March 7: Thomas Rhett
  • Thurs., March 8: Luke Bryan
  • Fri., March 9: Chris Young
  • Sat., March 10: Cody Johnson
  • Sun., March 11: Calibre 50
  • Mon., March 12: Zac Brown Band
  • Tues., March 13: J Balvin
  • Wed., March 14: OneRepublic
  • Thurs., March 15: Keith Urban
  • Fri., March 16: Chris Stapleton
  • Sat., March 17: Brad Paisley
  • Sun., March 18: Garth Brooks
Chapter 4

Photos: The petting zoos

Chapter 5

Rodeo on the cheap

If you’re on a tight budget, there are a couple of easy ways to enjoy the Houston Livestock Show and Rodeo without breaking the bank.

If you’re planning to go more than once, you might want to consider a season pass. The $25 pass gets you into the three-week rodeo as many times as you want. The season pass includes grounds, carnival, the livestock show and Hideout concerts. It doesn't include the rodeo and concerts at NRG stadium.

Daily HLSR grounds tickets are $10 for adults and $5 for children 3 to 12. Kids 2 and under are free.

Photos: Kids Country Carnival at HLSR

Another money-saver is Value Wednesdays on Feb. 28, March 7 an, March 14. Tickets are only $5 for adults. Kids 12 and under and seniors 60 and over get in free.

On Value Wednesdays, you can also enjoy: $2 carnival rides and special food items in The Junction Carnival from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m.; $5 off a minimum $25 purchase of official HLSR merchandise; Special prices from some food and merchandise vendors.

And finally, you can buy discount carnival packages before the show kicks off. For $10, you'll get $34 worth of tickets. The $50 package is worth $133.