HOUSTON - RodeoHouston is finally 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.
Why should you go?
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.
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!
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.
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.
The rodeo competition is followed by a nightly concert. Here’s the 2017 lineup:
· March 7 - Aaron Watson
· March 8 - Cody Johnson (Old Dominion forced to cancel because of death in the family)
· March 9 - Chris Stapleton
· March 10 - Alicia Keys
· March 11 - Alan Jackson
· March 12 - The Chainsmokers
· March 13 - Sam Hunt
· March 14 - Demi Lovato (Meghan Trainor forced to cancel over health issues)
· March 15 - Thomas Rhett
· March 16 - Luke Bryan
· March 17 - Fifth Harmony
· March 18 - Willie Nelson
· March 19 - Banda El Recodo | Siggno
· March 20 - Florida Georgia Line
· March 21 - ZZ Top
· March 22 - Chris Young
· March 23 - Blink 182
· March 24 - Dierks Bentley
· March 25 - Brad Paisley
· March 26 - Zac Brown Band
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.
Another money-saver is Value Wednesdays on March 8, March 15 and March 22. 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.
The Houston Livestock Show and Rodeo™ would not be the amazing success story that it is today without the vision, dedication and hard work of its volunteers.
There are more than 33,000 volunteers who are members of 107 committees that do everything from serving wine to selling tickets to picking up animal poop.
By donating their time, the volunteers help the rodeo raise more money for scholarships.
Click here to learn more about volunteering for HLSR. http://www.rodeohouston.com/Get-Involved/Volunteer
Just the ticket
You can buy a ticket for the grounds, carnival and livestock show at several log cabins around NRG. They’re $10 for adults and $5 for kids ages 3 to 12. You can skip the lines and buy tickets online here.
If you want to attend the nightly rodeo and concert, your best bet is to buy your ticket in advance. A lot of people buy season tickets, so some shows sell out before the rodeo starts. For ticket information, click here.
If you have a ticket for the rodeo and concert, you don’t need a separate ticket for the grounds. It’s all included.
How to get there
The easiest and most stress-free way to get to the rodeo is to let someone else do the driving!
You can catch a ride on the Metro Rail for $2.50 round-trip and it drops you off at the stadium.
Round-trip shuttle prices
Maxey Rd., Monroe Park & Rides and West Loop Transit Center: $4
North Shepherd Park & Ride: $6.50
Uber drop-offs and pick-ups will be in Yellow Lot 38. Uber drivers should enter Gate 16B in the Yellow Lot 38 from the North Bound lanes of Main Street. This is the only access to the lot. There is no left turn lane access from the south bound lanes of Main Street.
If you decide to drive yourself, we recommend downloading the RodeoHouston app for up-to-the minute updates on which lots are full.
Here's a map with the parking lots. There's also parking in the old Astroworld lot off the South Loop.
Don’t miss these Rodeo events:
First Responders Day – Tuesday, March 7
Armed Forces Appreciation Day - Wednesday, March 8
Black Heritage Day - Friday, March 10
Ag Robotics - Saturday, March 11
Go Tejano Day - Sunday, March 19
Rodeo Rockstars Semi-Finals – March 14
Rodeo Rockstars Finals - Tuesday, March 21
Houston Disc Dogs - March 25-26
Ride the new La Grande XL Ferris Wheel – one of the world’s largest
Champion Wine Garden - 4 to 11 p.m.
The Hideout – 6 p.m. to midnight
Stars over Texas stage
The Carnival – enjoy the rides
For more information, go to rodeohouston.com