Houston Livestock Show and Rodeo
Annually held in March
Reliant Stadium, 8334 Fannin Street, Houston, Texas
For more information visit the official website.
The biggest event of the year in Houston is the Houston Livestock Show and Rodeo. Ranked consistently as the world's largest rodeo—in events, entertainers and spectators—and drawing top competitors searching for a piece of the world's largest regular season purse, the Houston Rodeo is like the Super Bowl, Mardi Gras, New Year's Eve and the Fourth of July all rolled into one; a true slice of Americana and a good time for kids and adults.
The three weeks of rodeo competition is fierce, with riders competing in traditional rodeo events in both roughstock challenges—bull riding, saddle bronc riding and bareback bronc riding—and timed events—team roping, tie-down roping, steer wrestling and barrel racing. The Houston Rodeo showcases top athletes in professional riding, and many winners go on to compete for the title in the Professional Rodeo Cowboys Associations and Women's Professional Rodeo Association's finals. Beside the heated rodeo action, the Houston Livestock Show and Rodeo also hosts national and international superstar musical entertainers nightly for sell-out crowds.
Kicking off the Houston Livestock Show and Rodeo every year is Houston's most popular event: the Downtown Rodeo Parade. Drawing as many spectators as the rodeo itself, the Downtown Parade has been growing in size every year since its inauguration in 1938. Today, thousands of men and women on horseback and on wagons—including civic leaders, performers, competitors and entertainers—parade alongside marching bands and extravagant floats through America's fourth largest city to mark the opening of one of the most anticipated event on the rodeo circuit.
However, the Houston Livestock Show and Rodeo is so much more than just a showcase for riders' skills in the famed Western tradition. The Houston Rodeo is also home to the World's Championship Bar-B-Que Contest, in which as many as 400 grill masters use their unique culinary tactics, pits and smokers to compete in three categories (brisket, chicken and pork spare ribs). This Texas-sized outdoor picnic draws competitors not only from Texas, but from across the nation. For three days the sweet smell of smoky barbecue permeates all of Houston, luring hundreds of thousands of hungry patrons, and the competition between grillers often gets as heated as the action between rodeo contestants.
With a world-class carnival, petting zoos, agricultural exhibits, acres of animal stock and events, and the best rodeo action and musical entertainment in the country, the Houston Rodeo is the festival for Western enthusiasts, but you don't have to be a cowpoke to have a good time. Don't miss out on all the action, competition and fun for the whole family.