Every Houstonian knows when it’s rodeo season and it seems like almost everybody goes. Last year, over 2.6 million people attended the Houston Livestock Show and Rodeo, which is more than Houston’s entire population of 2.3 million. Seems like more than a few friends dropped by from out of town. At AFC, we’re proud to help them get to the event safely. We’re excited about this year’s rodeo, which takes place at NRG Park from February 27 through March 18.
Ever since the first Houston Stock Show and Livestock Exposition in January 1931, the rodeo has been a beloved tradition. The annual parade started in 1938, and the first entertainer – appropriately, famed cowboy Gene Autry – performed to crowds in 1942. In the 1970s, Elvis drew 43,614 crazed fans.
Over the years, the venue has changed to accommodate the growing crowd, and attendance records continue to be broken. During Tejano Days in 2010, more than 141,000 fans came to cheer on El Trono de Mexico & Pesado.
The Houston Rodeo features all the traditional rodeo events, such as steer wrestling, barrel racing, and bull riding. Mutton busting – five- to six-year-old riders vying to cling to a charging sheep – is always the cutest event. The calf scramble, where 30 4H and FFA kids chase 15 calves running in every direction, is the most hilarious.
But the Houston Rodeo goes way beyond human vs. animal events. Dances, cook-offs, a wine show and auction, livestock auctions and a horse show also please crowds. A series of special days feature activities and exhibits celebrating black heritage, Tejano culture, first responders, and people with special needs, to name just a few.
Every year, Houstonians eagerly await the announcement of the entertainment lineup. The 2018 Houston Livestock Show and Rodeo is an all-star event, with dates already selling out. Garth Brooks kicks off the rodeo on February 27. Texas native Leon Bridges, whose roots are in soul, headlines on Black Heritage Day. Pop singer Alessia Cara will come down from Canada for her debut Houston Rodeo performance on March 4, and Colombian pop singer J Balvin will bring his Latin reggaeton tunes on March 13. See the full lineup here.
It’s easy to regard the Houston Rodeo as all fun and games. But the world’s biggest rodeo is also a major supporter of education. It’s contributed more than $450 million to Texas youth since its inception. Tens of thousands of Texans owe their knowledge at least in part to the Houston Rodeo’s scholarships. Right now, rodeo scholarships fund the education of more than 2,000 students at 80+ Texas colleges and universities. That’s something to be proud of.
AFC gets you there
Pumped up and ready to go? Let AFC help get your group there, safely and in style. Our polite, professional drivers and comfortable coaches let you relax, instead of stressing in the crowded NRG Park lot. Give us a call, and we’ll help with your rodeo day planning.