Quit horsing around

More by Brooke Bettes
Brooke Bettes

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The Houston Livestock Show and Rodeo visits annually and this year being from March 7 to March 26 with new and exciting things every year. But events do not last long, so head out to the show with a plan. Here are the top number things to do at the Rodeo.

Livestock show

Today the Houston Livestock Show holds the title of largest and most prestigious in the world. The show has two main categories, the junior show and an open show with similar subcategories, where it began promoting breeding, raising and marketing of livestock by the gulf coast in Texas.

Birthing center

Baby animals have a tendency to pull people in with their petiteness, so stop by the birthing center to see all different kinds of newborn livestock.

Barbeque contest

The tents will hold over 250 teams competing in the World Championship Bar-B-Que Contest. Although most of the team tents have no public access, some vendors serve the public.

Rodeo run

The races have many variations, from a timed 10k to a virtual participation. The participating runners know their funds go towards a good cause since the profits get donated to the Houston Livestock Rodeo Education Fund.


The parade itself takes place further into downtown instead of by NRG stadium. Floats will pass by excited onlookers and riders on horseback will trot down the streets of Houston. Join the crowd that will flood the streets the streets to witness one of Houston’s most popular celebrations.

Calf scramble

This event has a special place in fans’ hearts due to the unscripted chaos of FFA members and calves running across the NRG stadium floor. The students who manage to catch a calf receive a reward of $1,750 to purchase a registered beef heifer or market steer to show at the livestock show the following year; or, for seniors the prize money can also go towards college for seniors who do not plan on raising a cow in college.

Petting Zoo

The petting zoo, always has a line where dozens of animals roam around in a small enclosure. At the rodeo the petting zoo will host both exotic and standard farm animals.


The Houston rodeo houses the western hemisphere’s largest ferris wheel at 15 stories or roughly 162 feet tall. Along with the ferris wheel the carnival will also host a 58 foot tall roller coaster. If that seems too extreme then the kiddie rides will also return to their spots on the fairground. The typical carnival foods, such as funnel cakes and cotton candy, will cater to the sweet tooth in all of us.

Competitions and Contests

The rodeo hosts many competitions and contests such as agricultural mechanics, an agricultural science fair, a robotics contest, and many more. People can also enter in livestock for judging, or create a poster project on the enhancement or conservation of Texas wildlife. Talk to the agriculture teachers for more information if this sparks some interest.

We’re Small Y’all Barn

Again with the cute and small animals. This barn only hosts animals that breeders have spent generations creating to have a miniature appearance. Go and learn why sometimes smaller can have benefits.