The Houston Livestock Show and Rodeo will have a bevy of new things popping off for 2020.
Let's start off with The Social Spur, the Rodeo's new social lounge. Located near the McNee entrance, it will feature music, TVs, photo opportunities, and engaging activations for visitors. It will also offer phone charging stations, a water refill station and seating areas for attendees to relax and recharge during their visit.
Rodeo-goers can also get a glimpse of the 2020 shopping opportunities, from clothing to home goods, located inside Hall E in NRG Center. The space is good for photo opportunities for fans to show off their own Rodeo fashion.
Speaking of photo opps, attendees can commemorate their 2020 #RodeoHouston experience with a new, larger-than-life 3-D photo opportunity. Rodeo guests can wrangle their friends for an Insta-worthy close-up in front of oversized letters that spell out R-O-D-E-O.
Now, let's get into the animal stuff. The Extreme Dogs show, located outdoors in The Junction, will feature rescue dogs and includes all your favorite dog sports like agility, dock diving, high jump, weave pole racing, disc, and tricks with a brilliant cast. Meanwhile, the mare and foal fan favorite known as Born to Buck will feature a special tribute that showcases generations of bucking horses and celebrates their athleticism and importance to the sport, and to the cowboys and cowgirls who treat them like family. This will also be located in The Junction.
Don't forget about Agventure Park, located in Agventure, which will offer a parakeet encounter, giving Rodeo-goers the opportunity to visit the walk-in aviary, interact and feed the friendly birds. Also located in Agventure will be a balloon art display where an artist will create a balloon-filled mural featuring a scene that will evolve during the run of the Rodeo.
Rodeo-goers can see how their farming skills stack up against the competition with Farming Simulator, an interactive game that allows players to build their own virtual farm from the ground up. The exhibit, located on the east side of NRG Center, will include six stations where participants will test their farming skills in a timed hay stacking competition.
The Big Apple in H-Town
In the new carnival attractions department, New York New York is a family-friendly funhouse featuring two levels of fun with a New York-themed concept. As for new carnival games, Bottle Up is an old favorite that tests the skills and ability of the player to balance and stand up on a sloped platform, and Top Glo is a group game that allows a player and 13 friends to compete against each other by spraying a water gun at a target, racing to the top. Also, half-price carnival packs are going digital for 2020. Rodeo carnival guests will need a smartphone to access their ride/game tickets and coupons by downloading the free RodeoHouston App and the Rodeo Carnival App.
New for 2020, the rodeo will host a Sensory Friendly Experience on Thursday, March 5 from 10 am to 1 pm in select areas of the carnival to promote an accommodating and positive experience for all Rodeo guests with sensory sensitivities or challenges. During this time, there will be minimal lights and sounds permitted in the carnival, according to a press release.
Cook-off and more
As for contests, The World’s Championship Bar-B-Que Contest Jr. Cook-off will be held on Saturday, February 29 — open to teams only — and 25 children ages 8-14 years old will be chosen to participate via random drawing. In the School Art Graphic Design Poster Contest, high school students who attend a school currently enrolled in the School Art Program may compete by graphically designing an advertising poster encouraging students to participate in the School Art Program. And, in the Industrial Crafts Competition, students from Houston-area school districts will be armed with the project plan, necessary materials and tools to build a barbecue skid/smoker. Constructed projects will be displayed at the east end of NRG Center beginning Friday, March 13, and will be judged by industry experts.
New times for old favorites
There will be a few date and time changes. Go Tejano Day will be on Sunday, March 8. Black Heritage Day will be on Friday, March 13. The RodeoHouston Super Shootout will be on Sunday, March 15. And, finally, the RodeoHouston Super Series Championship will be on Sunday, March 22. And, the Free Family Wednesday will have NRG Park admission for seniors (60 and over) and children (12 and under) until noon (previously 7 pm). This does not include rodeo/concert admission.
For more tickets, schedules, and more information, visit RodeoHouston online.