The Houston Rodeo

Every city has its “signature event”. That signature event is a special occasion, whether one day long or a month long, that makes that city special and different then any other city. New York City has New Year’s Eve at Times Square, New Orleans’s Mardi Gras and Dallas’s Texas State Fair, Houston’s is the Houston Livestock Show and Rodeo.

Houston-RodeoThe Houston Livestock Show and Rodeo began as the Houston Fat Stock Show and Livestock Exposition in April 1932, adding rodeo in 1938. The Houston Livestock Show and Rodeo is the world’s largest live entertainment and livestock exhibition. Now held annually in March, the show draws nearly 2 million people, with more than 1.2 million attending the rodeo and concerts in Reliant Stadium. Rodeo Houston has earned the status of the highest-paying regular-season rodeo with its innovative Super Series format. Since 1932, the Houston Livestock Show and Rodeo has committed more than $230 million to the youth of Texas.

What a lot of people don’t know is that the Houston Rodeo is far more then a provider of live entertainment and amusement for the residents of Houston. The Houston Livestock Show and Rodeo is also a charity that benefits youth, supports education, and facilitates better agricultural practices through exhibitions and presentation. Since its beginning in 1932, the Houston Livestock Show and Rodeo has committed nearly $375 million to scholarships, research, endowments, calf scramble participants, junior show exhibitors, School Art participants, and other educational youth programs.

Growing up, I loved going to the rodeo for the carnival rides and of course, the great live music that comes every year. During the month of March, everyone knows that the place to go to is the rodeo. After school, during the weekends, my friends and I would be there without a fail. I love everything about the rodeo. The crazy rides that would make me and my friends nauseous and dizzy for hours, the greasy fried food that would give us stomach aches for weeks, and the live music that was engraved in our hearts and mind for years, all make the rodeo experience something special.

I started going to the rodeo when I was in the 9th grade, which was in 2009. Every year, the rodeo lineup is different, maybe some retuning artists, but never exactly the same. My very first country experience was during the Houston rodeo. Everyone wearing cowboy boots, drinking beer, and dancing around was my first impression of the “country culture”, and I loved it!

DSC_0215Here are the some of the lineups of the Houston Rodeo in the past few years:

2009 Entertainment Lineup
March 3 Rascal Flatts
March 4 Alan Jackson
March 5 Clay Walker
March 6 Gladys Knight and Solange
March 7 Trace Adkins
March 8 Jonas Brothers
March 9 Lady Antebellum
March 10 Toby Keith
March 11 Reba McEntire
March 12 Brad Paisley
March 13 Clint Black
March 14 Josh Turner
March 15 Ramon Ayala and Alacranes Musical
March 16 Darius Rucker
March 17 Keith Urban
March 18 Gary Allan
March 19 Pat Green
March 20 Taylor Swift
March 21 Brooks & Dunn

2010 Entertainment Lineup
March 3 Dierks Bentley
March 4 Kenny Chesney
March 5 Mary J. Blige
March 6 Jason Aldean
March 7 Jonas Brothers and Demi Lovato
March 8 Tim McGraw
March 9 Darius Rucker
March 10 Rascal Flatts
March 11 Brad Paisley
March 12 Toby Keith
March 13 Blake Shelton
March 14 Grupo Pesado and El Trono de México
March 15 Lady Antebellum
March 16 Keith Urban
March 17 Gary Allen
March 18 The Black Eyed Peas
March 19 Eli Young Band
March 20 Brooks and Dunn
March 21 Justin Bieber and Selena Gomez

2011 Entertainment Lineup
March 1 Clay Walker
March 2 Trace Adkins
March 3 Sugarland
March 4 Janet Jackson
March 5 Billy Currington
March 6 Selena Gomez
March 7 Tim McGraw
March 8 Keith Urban
March 9 Martina McBride
March 10 Rascal Flatts
March 11 Lady Antebellum
March 12 Gary Allan
March 13 La Arrolladora Banda El Limón and La Leyenda
March 14 Kid Rock
March 15 KISS
March 16 Miranda Lambert
March 17 Zac Brown Band
March 18 Alan Jackson
March 19 Brad Paisley
March 20 Jason Aldean

2012 Entertainment Lineup
February 28 Alabama
February 29 Kid Rock
March 1 Lady Antebellum
March 2 John Legend
March 3 Luke Bryan
March 4 Big Time Rush
March 5 Eli Young Band
March 6 Enrique Iglesias
March 7 Blake Shelton
March 8 ZZ Top
March 9 Reba McEntire
March 10 Chris Young
March 11 La Original Banda El Limón and Duelo
March 12 Zac Brown Band
March 13 Miranda Lambert
March 14 The Band Perry
March 15 Jason Aldean
March 16 Train
March 17 Brad Paisley
March 18 Alan Jackson

One of the main reasons why I love the rodeo is because of the great combination of pop and country artists that make the lineup so fun and appealing to all types of crowds. It is interesting to see the different artists that come every year, because while the rodeo works hard to maintain the concerts mainly country, with time more and more pop artists come and perform at the rodeo. While there are artists like Maroon 5 and Usher perform for those who are less into country, and then there are artists like Blake Shelton and Brad Paisley return every year for all the country lovers out there.

DSC_0280The Houston Rodeo is a great time for families and friends to hear great music, eat good food, and enjoy each other’s company. I strongly recommend going, it really is a unique and fun experience for everyone!


Filed under Live Music, Texas

8 Responses to The Houston Rodeo

  1. William Glass

    I loved reading about the Houston Rodeo because I’ve heard so much about it from all my friends in Texas but never have been able to go. It’s fun having a signature event in your hometown. Back home in Alabama we also have Mardi Gras… fact Mardi Gras was actually started in my hometown of Mobile (before New Orleans). It’s fun going to those events with your friends and seeing all the acts. I think it’s really cool that the Houston Rodeo if also a charity benefit and even offers scholarships. It was good reading about this and learning some new stuff, hopefully I’ll be able to go one day!

  2. Makayla Markey

    Wow I have never been to a rodeo of this scale and I definitely want to go someday! I had no idea so many top country artists preform at such an event at once. Growing up I had always gone to the small-scale rodeo my little town in northern San Diego put on annually. Anyone in our town could enter. One year my Dad even competed in shoot dogging. I think that is what made my rodeos so fun; since I knew most of the people in them. I babysat some of the kids entered in mutton busting. Or some of my high school classmates were riding broncos or racing barrels. This had always been my idea of what a rodeo was but that idea has now drastically changed!

  3. Tamar: I guess I have mentioned 3253468 times that I grew up in Cheyenne, Wyoming. Cheyenne takes pride in hosting the “world’s largest outdoor rodeo,” and my uncle (who helped organize the event for some time) would travel to rodeos like the one in Houston to recruit people, make deals with musicians, etc. I always intend to go to the one in Houston, but I always hear about it after everything I want to see is sold out. I am glad you reminded me to keep my eye out for the tickets when they go on sale in January. Woo!

  4. Alyssa Hazen

    Love that you write about the Houston rodeo! Being from the suburbs right outside of Houston, it was pretty much the thing to do over spring break or right before. I remember every year after the lineup would come out the next day during school that’s all anyone would take about is who they were going to see. I’ve probably been at least a dozen times and it never gets old. There’s just something about the atmosphere, smell of live stock, fried foods and all. My first concert at the rodeo was actually Jessica Simpson of all people. I also really like that they have a little bit of something for everyone. Last year I saw Maroon 5 one night and Keith Urban just two nights later. It’s really fun to see the whole community come together for country!

  5. Dena Lipper

    Tamar I love that you wrote about the rodeo and posted the lineups from each of those years. Off the top of my head I think I went to 4 concerts on that list (plus 2 or 3 more in 2013), each one proceeded by the rodeo show which never disappointed. I heard artists at the rodeo that I probably never would have gotten to see otherwise, especially since both of my parents were on the rodeo committee which meant they got in for free and could take one guest to any concerts they wanted with free seating. That got my mom and I front row for Lady Antebellum and The Band Perry, both incredible shows. I always love going to the rodeo and hope to make it back this year for some more shows!

  6. Elizabeth Stack

    Although it’s not as big as Houston’s, San Antonio also has a pretty great Rodeo every February. Like you said for Houston, during that time is SA the rodeo is all anyone talks about, and it’s the main social event. I love getting dressed up in my dress and boots, and heading downtown where the AT&T Center has been transformed into a hub of country and rodeo culture. I love watching the bull riding and barrel racing almost as much as the concerts. One year when I went to see The Band Perry there we got to sit in the section with the rodeo cowboys, which made for an interesting night. Since coming to Austin I’ve missed the past couple years, but hopefully this year I can make it back again!

  7. Alina Monzon

    I loved your post because I really wanted to hear about it. I know people that have gone to the Houston Rodeo and said it was lots of fun. Unfortunately, I have not had the opportunity to go. I usually see the lineups for the concerts that they have and it always looks so good. But for one reason or another, I have not been able to attend. I would like to go mostly because of the music. Now that I have finally attended a country concert, I want to see how different or similar a concert at the rodeo might be. I’ve actually already looked up who will be there and apparently not all the spots are filled with bands or artist yet but I am definitely going to try to go next year.

  8. Michael Casarez

    Tamar, i really appreciate this post because i am from Katy, TX right outside Houston and i would go to the Houston Rodeo every year from the time i was in 4th grade to when i graduated high school. I miss going very much! I always had friends who were showing art in the rodeo and i loved to go ride the crazy rides they have every year, and the little pig races that were quite funny to watch, and at the end of the day you go see the live music they have ready to go. Big names of country music play there at the Houston Rodeo and it is a big deal to see any one of them there! I have wanted to Zac Brown Band there for years but i havent yet. I will soon! But i thanks again for bringing me back to Houston with this post! I do miss being there and i sure miss the Houston Rodeo! We should take a class trip in the spring!

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