Whether it’s for the atmosphere or the food, Houston’s Livestock Show and Rodeo Cookoff is the place to be this weekend.

“It's so fun,” said mother-daughter duo Amy and Morgan Zeleny. “It’s something we look forward to every year!”

The Cookoff is a place where you can eat all the BBQ and fixings you’d like cooked by those hoping to be dubbed the chargrill champions.

“It is competitive like you can't possibly imagine,” explained Dave LeRoux, president of the Lonestar Cowboy Cookers.

This year, there are more than 250 teams grilling it out be have their BBQ named the best.

“This is like the NBA finals! This is like the World Series! This is what it's all about for these folks,” said LeRoux.

The Cookoff builds momentum for the Rodeo which kicks off Tuesday. For the first time in more than 30 years, there will be a new, impressive stage for performers.

“I am so excited for Tuesday,” said Joel Cowley, President of Houston’s Livestock Show and Rodeo. “Who better than Garth Brooks to break in a new stage?”

The stage includes more than a thousand lights, giant high-definition screens, a flying camera to capture both performers and rodeo events and five pointed moving tips that allow the performers to walk close to the audience and exit the stage.

From tip to tip, the stage is 126 feet wide and weighs 360,000 pounds. It takes about 4 minutes to roll out to the center of the arena and about 45 minutes for it to open.

“We are ready for 20 days of celebration here at the Houston Livestock Show and Rodeo! To welcome people out here to celebrate our community spirit and really what it means to be a Houstonian,” Cowley added.


RodeoHouston Parade kicks off Saturday morning in downtown Houston

RodeoHouston: Brace yourself for heavy traffic around NRG

David Paul's Blog: Rodeo Weekend Weather

HLSR: Everything you need to know before you rodeo!