The Houston Livestock Show and Rodeo is an annual tradition dating back to the 1930’s. The early rodeos were held at the Sam Houston Coliseum until the events moved to the Astrodome which opened in 1966. In the late 1930s, the horse shows and downtown parade were added to the Rodeo to expand its appeal to a broader audience. The first musical entertainer performed at the 1942 Rodeo; this was very appropriately the famous Gene Autrey, known as the “Singing Cowboy.”
As the rodeo grew in popularity and in economic importance to our city, so did its need for space to house the events, people and animals. With the Rodeo being one of the largest moneymakers for Houston and Harris County, the city and rodeo association worked together to build what is now the NRG complex of buildings, including the expo hall and arena. When the Houston Texans NFL franchise came to the city in 2000, they joined in and worked to build NRG Stadium.
The rodeo is an experience that anyone can enjoy, from young children on up. Daily family activities include a petting zoo, pig races, milking demonstration center, pony and camel rides, and many, many others. The carnival in the NRG Stadium parking lot has over one hundred rides, delicious carnival foods like funnel cake, turkey legs and deep-fried anything. The AGventure exhibit is a place to learn about life on a farm, how different animals are important to Texas agriculture, where that glass of milk really comes from, and how bees make honey. There’s a special birthing center with baby animals, a hatchery for chicks, and an aquaculture exhibit.
Tickets are still available for the nightly entertainers, including celebrities like Keith Urban, Brad Paisley, Zac Brown Band, Alessia Cara, Luke Bryan and many more. Shows begin about 6:45pm on weeknights with rodeo events for about two hours, then the musical performer takes the stage a little before 9pm. On weekends, the rodeo starts at 3:45pm with musical performances beginning just before 6pm.
For a complete schedule, tickets and more details about all of the Houston Rodeo events, please visit www.rodeohouston.com