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RodeoHouston officials keeping close eye on COVID but optimistic show will go on

The president and CEO of RodeoHouston said everything is on track for a grand restart to the tradition after the pandemic.

HOUSTON, Texas — The wait is almost over!

After nearly two years, the Houston Livestock Show and Rodeo is set to welcome back crowds after being canceled in March 2020. You may remember this was the first major sign of the start of the pandemic in Houston.

Now, there are just 90 days left until RodeoHouston returns for its 90th anniversary.

While COVID sidelined most of the action the last two years, the rodeo’s mission hasn’t stopped and there are signs popping up that next year’s rodeo will be bigger and better than ever.

For example, new street art in downtown Houston hopes to build excitement ahead of the return of the rodeo.

Artist Gonzo247 is creating the new mural.

He said, “You know rodeo is Houston man. Born and raised here, that’s one of the major institutions that still around and still doing big things for the city.”

He said the mural will be done just in time to celebrate nine decades of the rodeo.

“I think RodeoHouston really encompasses like the good balance between being in the metropolis here and still having the heritage of wearing hats and spurs and boots and having a good ole time,” Gonzo247 said.

Also, Chris Boleman, president and CEO of RodeoHouston, said everything is on track for a grand restart to the tradition after the pandemic.

“It’s changed our world,” Boleman said. “I don’t think any question about that.”

He said they’re keeping a close eye on COVID and working with experts to keep the public safe.

“We’re monitoring other big events,” Boleman said. “We’ve seen a lot of football games happen with full crowds and we’ve seen concerts happen as well and so we’ll just do what we do. We feel like we’ll put it together; obviously, the health and safety of everybody involved is what’s most important. We’ll put together a program that will include that.”

Boleman said the biggest thing they’ve learned through all of this is just how much the rodeo means to people.

He said, “The rodeo is a place of unity. It’s a place where people come together and can celebrate what we do here in Texas. What we do here in Houston. And we’re just looking forward to doing so.”

The 90th anniversary of the Houston Livestock Show and Rodeo kicks off with the BBQ championships on Feb. 24.

Cody Johnson will kick off the first concert on Feb. 28 and the King of Country, George Strait, will close it out on March 20.

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