For two weeks each February the Livestock Show and Rodeo makes its way to Houston. 2012 marked the 80th year of the rodeo and it was high time that Danimal was able to attend. He acquired his first pair of cowboy boots the week prior so he would now look legit. The rodeo has three primary components: the livestock show, the carnival, the rodeo (bull riding, etc. plus concert). We were able to see the livestock show and carnival for a cultural experience Dan won’t soon forget.
And they call the thing rodeo...
The big show takes place inside Reliant Stadium. Depending on who the headliner is that night, seats can sell out in advance. (Some nights there are crowds of over 70,000!!!) If you want to see the bull riding, calf roping, and entertainer of the night, I suggest buying tickets when they go on sale. Everyone from George Strait to Beyoncé has taken the stage.
Chicken Fried Anything
Danimal and I headed to the rodeo with my brother, Bud, and his fab girlfriend, Kara. We made our way straight to the carnival zone. After all, we were in need of some sausage on a stick or chicken fried fill-in-the-blank. I’m not kidding – they sell almost anything you can imagine in a fried fashion. From there it was time to waste some money trying to win a life-sized stuffed animal. (Surely there was room for that in our carry-on luggage.)
Zero bottles down
We began with the milk bottle game and completely missed. Danimal did manage to do well enough at balloon darts to win us a miniature bear. Clearly we have room for improvement. The best bang for you buck is the quarters game. (No, not that quarters game…) It has the lowest buy-in with seemingly the most challenging road to victory. The quarter must land within rainbow without touching any lines. It is a good place for kids or game-challenged adults to spend their time.
Tiny Pink Bear vs. Giant Sponge Bob
Daninmal and Kara are normal human beings that enjoy rides. We Holders, not so much… While I consider myself adventurous, daring I am not. Out of peer pressure (or perhaps love) Bud and I agreed to ride just one ride that night. Speed was determined to be our best possible option.
Seriously, what were we thinking!!?? Speed is a double-spin ride. We survived. We won’t be doing this again. Our hearts still start beating fast thinking about the experience.
For me, one of the most enjoyable parts of the rodeo is the livestock show. Chicks, roosters, pigs, lambs, steers and goats (over 27,000) from across the state make their way to Houston. This is a great chance for kids to see farm raised animals up close. Texas 4-H and FFA students are able to participate. This year the livestock and wine auction raised over $11M benefitting the youth of Texas.
I hope you have officially added the Houston Rodeo to your ‘to-do’ list.
Photo credits: bull riding – seriouseats.com; livestock show- McCasland Farms