Almost all of the rodeo's related events, including the trail ride and parade, Rodeo Run, Rodeo Uncorked! Roundup & Best Bites Competition, and the World’s Championship Bar-B-Que Contest will be rescheduled to match the new dates. However, the Junior Livestock and Horse Show competitions will still be held in March.
“The Houston Livestock Show and Rodeo is truly a community event that Rodeo fans look forward to each and every year,” said Chris Boleman, Rodeo president and CEO, in a statement. “With the evolving health situation, we have made the decision to move the 2021 Rodeo from March to May . . . We remain dedicated to fulfilling our mission to support Texas youth and hosting a long-time Houston tradition.”
As CultureMap columnist Ken Hoffman predicted in his column this week, moving from March to May will come with a number of advantages. Specifically, the chance for cold or rainy weather will be significantly diminished. After all, no one likes a soggy carnival.
Delaying the Rodeo's start also boosts the possibility that coronavirus vaccines will have reached more of the general public, which would make it possible for people to resume gathering in large groups.
Details about the specific dates for the pre-rodeo events, the 2021 concept lineup, and all health and safety procedures will be announced by early March. Previously, organizers said they hoped to make the 2021 lineup one to remember.
“My plan is to have a 2021 lineup that is bigger, better, and gives everybody in our audience in the Houston metro a reason to come out and celebrate,” Jason Kane, manager of entertainment and concert production, told CultureMap in April. “I think Houston will deserve it, all the rodeo fans deserve it, and I think they’ll all be looking for a real celebration in 2021.”
The rodeo's sudden shutdown on March 11 was the first sign locally of how disruptive efforts to slow the spread of COVID-19 would be to daily life. With new dates announced for next year's event, the potential for Houstonians to be eating turkey legs and listening to live music seems much more promising.