If the locals and Newstonians in western wear and cowboys on horses on Memorial Drive are any hint, fans of the Houston Livestock Show and Rodeo are gearing up for the bevy of festivities that kick off this week, before the official start on March 3.
Festivities got going with the annual Rodeo Roundup at Houston City Hall, where Mayor Sylvester Turner proclaimed Go Texan Day on Friday, February 28. The city-wide celebration of Houston’s western heritage is the unofficial start of the rodeo and finds locals donning boots, hats, and cowboy gear.
We've rounded up the best ways to get ready to rodeo this weekend. Get out those hats, boots, and in one case, those running shoes, and saddle up.
World’s Championship Bar-B-Que Contest, February 27-29
One of the biggest draws of the rodeo finds more than 250 barbecue teams competing in this tasty contest. Over the course of three days, teams from across the state of Texas and the world will compete for champion titles in the following categories: Brisket, Ribs, Chicken, Go Texan and Dutch Oven Dessert, and new this year, a Jr. Cook-off Contest. The Jr. Cook-off Contest will take place Saturday, February 29 at 9 am in the Garden area. Young chefs, between the ages of 8 and 14, will compete for the title of best steak.
While most Bar-B-Que Contest team tents are invitation-only, visitors can enjoy a sliced brisket plate with chips and beans from the Chuckwagon, included in the cost of admission, and catch live music daily at The Garden Stage.
Trail rides, February 28-29
The 65-year tradition is a beloved and familiar sight on Houston streets. On Friday, February 28, horses and wagons from 12 trail rides will make their way through the Bayou City streets to merge and camp one final night at Memorial Park — before participating in the Downtown Rodeo Parade, Saturday, February 29. Fans can catch the awards presentation in Memorial Park at 5 pm. Check out the site for locations and details.
Rodeo Run, February 29
Fit Houstonians can get a running start to the rodeo with the annual Rodeo Run, presented by ConocoPhillips, Saturday, February 29. The run kicks off before the Downtown Rodeo Parade and will start at 9:10 am with the wheelchair race, followed by the 5K and 10K elite, 10K timed and 5K timed events. Those who can’t make the run can check out the Sleep-In option.
Downtown Rodeo Parade, February 29
A family favorite, the 2020 Downtown Rodeo Parade will be held Saturday, February 29 at 10 am. Past and present Rodeo scholarship recipients representing each decade, including the first-ever Rodeo scholar Ben Dickerson, will lead the parade.
The best places to view the parade are on Louisiana, from Bell to Lamar, and from Louisiana to Smith. Arrive early to secure a viewing spot along the route, which begins at Bagby and Walker streets, travels from Travis to Bell Street, and from Bell Street to Louisiana Street, before turning on Lamar Street, and ends at Lamar and Bagby.
For tickets to the Houston Livestock Show and Rodeo, visit the official site.