HOUSTON — The Houston Livestock Show and Rodeo, a huge three-week event, is almost here!
More than 2.5 million people attended the rodeo in 2019 and there are a bunch of reasons why it’s so popular.
We’ve rounded up our own top 20 reasons.
1. Whether you’re a city slicker or country folk, the rodeo is a fun family event with something for everyone.
2. Where else can you see a top-notch entertainer and one of the world’s largest rodeos for as little as 20 bucks? Your rodeo ticket includes the carnival and livestock show.
3. The nightly rodeo concerts feature a diverse lineup of country, pop, R&B, rap and even EDM (electronic dance music).
4. Families on a budget can get a lot of bang for their buck on Family Wednesdays. Children, 12 and under, and seniors, 60 and over, get onto the grounds free before noon (doesn’t include the rodeo/concert). Also on Wednesdays, enjoy $2 rides and games from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m., along with a $2 food or drink item at select food stands in The Junction.
5. The carnival offers plenty of fast and furious rides for thrill-seekers, along with a kinder, gentler section for the kiddos. You can buy half-price carnival packs here.
6. Step right up and try your hand at the carnival games.Judging from all the people walking around with huge stuffed animals, they can’t be too hard to win.
7. The food is fabulous! Bring an empty stomach and leave your diet at home.
8. If you’re 21 years and older, you can dance all those calories away at The Hideout each night from 6 p.m. to midnight. The rodeo’s very own honky tonk features live music and a spacious dance floor.
9. From bull and bronc riding to barrel racing, the rodeo events are exciting!
10. The kids who take part in the mutton bustin’ and calf scramble each night at the rodeo will make your heart smile.
11. The nightly Mare and Foal show at the rodeo is a thing of beauty. It showcases generations of bucking horses as they enter the ring riderless in a choreographed tribute.
Photos: RodeoHouston's magical tribute to bucking horses
12. At the Livestock Show, get up close and personal with horses, cows, pigs, llamas, bunnies and more.
.13. If you're lucky, you'll get to watch calves, piglets and lambs enter the world in the Agventure Birthing Area. In 2019, 53 piglets, 25 lambs and 20 calves were born there. Even if you don't time it right for the actual births, the newborns on display throughout the rodeo are adorable!
14. See eggs incubating and watch baby chicks hatching at Agventure. More than 950 chicks hatched last year in the Poultry Exhibit.
15. There are two petting zoos where you can feed all kinds of adorable animals.
Photos: The Petting Zoo at HLSR
16. The little cowboys and cowgirls can ride ponies inside and outside of NRG Center.
17. The level of talent at the School Art Show will blow you away. The gallery on the second floor of NRG Center features the top artists, pre-K through 12th grade, from 142 different districts. In 2019, the rodeo received more than 200,000 entries so the competition is fierce. The 2019 grand champion drawing by Hector Maldonado was auctioned for a record $240,000.
PHOTOS: 2020 Rodeo School Art Program winners
18. There’s also shopping galore at NRG Center!
19. From pint-sized cowpokes to country club cowboys to the real deal, the people watching alone is worth the ticket price!
20. It’s for a great cause! Since the Houston Livestock Show and Rodeo™ began in 1932, more than $500 million has been committed to the youth of Texas. The Show has presented more than 19,000 scholarships since the first one was awarded in 1957. Currently, more than 2,300 students are on HLSR scholarships, attending 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.