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Conroe-born country star Parker McCollum headlines RodeoHouston 2023 Opening Day celebrations

parker saddles up for rodeo

A familiar face will headline the Houston Livestock Show and Rodeo’s wildly popular Opening Day performance. Conroe native and country star Parker McCollum will take the NRG Stadium stage on Tuesday, February 28, 2023, the rodeo announced.

Individual tickets for McCollum’s Opening Days show start at $25, plus a $4 convenience fee and are on sale at 10 am on Thursday, October 6 via rodeohouston.com. As always, an Online Waiting Room will open at 9:30 am; customers who join the Waiting Room from 9:30 to 9:59 am will be randomly selected to purchase tickets at 10 am. (A place in the Waiting Room does not guarantee tickets.) Customers can purchase a maximum of eight tickets.

McCollum, who boasts more than 3.3 million followers on Spotify with favorites such as “Pretty Heart,” “To Be Loved by You,” and “Hell of a Year,” has won fans with his mix of Americana and country, infused with a bit of blues, soul, and folk rock. Currently touring with country crooner Thomas Rhett, McCollum is a natural choice to open the 2023 RodeoHouston concert series, as the singer-songwriter drew a crowd of 73,243 at last year’s rodeo, marking the fourth-highest paid rodeo/concert attendance in 2022.

Fittingly, custom-designed caps commemorating Opening Day and McCollum’s return to RodeoHouston will be available for purchase online.

New for 2023, a special Opening Day celebration will feature a performance by a local band on the Stars Over Texas Stage before McCollum’s show. Special giveaways will include 10,000 custom-made Howdy bobbleheads for early arrivers that morning (starting at 10 am). Visitors can expect a host of activities including an Opening Day Parade at NRG Park.

As for the highly anticipated 2023 RodeoHouston entertainer will be announced at a later date, plus more Opening Day details, per the rodeo.

“Everyone looks forward to the upcoming Rodeo season all year long, and we hope all Rodeo fans will circle Opening Day on their 2023 calendars, as this will be a day you won’t want to miss,” Chris Boleman, rodeo president and CEO, noted in a statement. “February 28 will truly be a Houston-themed celebration, as we kick off the 2023 Rodeo season with Houston’s-own country music star Parker McCollum closing out the day with another unforgettable RodeoHouston performance.”

The 2023 Houston Livestock Show and Rodeo and all RodeoHouston performances are scheduled for February 28–March 19, 2023 at NRG Park.

Houston high schools score high marks as Texas' best in 2022

A+ rating

Several campuses in the Houston area have earned extra credit as the best high schools in Texas.

In the latest rankings from education review website Niche, Houston's Carnegie Vanguard High School and Debakey High School for Health Professions come in No. 4 and No. 5 respectively among the state's best public high schools.

Meanwhile, Awty International School comes in at No. 2 (up from No. 3 last year) on the list of the state’s best private high schools.

Here's how Houston schools scored:

  • Houston ISD’s Carnegie Vanguard High School, No. 4 among public high schools
  • Katy ISD’s Seven Lakes High School, No. 5 among public high schools
  • William P. Clements High School, No. 5 among public high schools
  • Houston ISD’s Debakey High School for Health Professions, No. 5 among public high schools
  • Houston ISD’s Kinder High School for the Performing and Visual Arts, No. 9 among public high schools
  • The John Cooper School in The Woodlands, No. 6 among private high schools
  • The Village School in Houston, No. 7 among private high schools
  • The Kincaid School in Houston, No. 10 among private high schools
For those interested in private schools, here are the top Houston institutions this year.
  • The Awty International School
  • The John Cooper School
  • The Village School
  • The Kinkaid School
  • Strake Jesuit College Preparatory

“Some of the biggest decisions that parents face have to do with their children’s education,” Luke Skurman, founder and CEO of Niche, says in a news release. “We strive to put as much power in their hands as possible so they can make informed decisions with confidence.”

Niche says that while traditional rankings rely heavily on metrics like test scores and academic performance, its rankings combine ratings from current students, alumni, and parents with data from the U.S. Department of Education to evaluate teachers, resources, facilities, extracurricular activities and more.

Here’s how other Texas schools and school districts fared in this year’s Niche rankings.

Austin area

  • Austin ISD’s Liberal Arts & Science Academy, No. 2 among public high schools
  • Eanes ISD’s Westlake High School, No. 6 among public high schools
  • Round Rock ISD’s Westwood High IB World School, No. 8 among public high schools
  • St. Stephen’s Episcopal School in Austin, No. 4 among private high schools
  • Eanes ISD, No. 1 among best school districts
Dallas area

Dallas ISD’s School for the Talented & Gifted tops the list of the state’s best public high schools, and St. Mark’s School of Texas in Dallas leads the list of the state’s best private high schools. Both schools ranked first on their respective Niche lists last year.

San Antonio area

  • Keystone School in San Antonio, No. 9 among private high schools
  • BASIS Texas Charter Schools in San Antonio, No. 4 among school districts

Rio Grande Valley

  • South Texas ISD in Mercedes, No. 2 among school districts

Here are the top 15 things to do in Houston this weekend

weekend event planner

Could that weird sensation we're feeling be...breeze? Yes, Houston is finally cooling, which means outdoor fun, outdoor dining (check out our patio guide here), and more.

This weekend sees cool art shows, cool music — including a Selena tribute — and boozy fun at a few events. Barbie fans can catch the Malibu truck in The Woodlands, while a hot sauce fest brings the heat and a tasty chef fest serves up delicious bites. And Sunday, a buzzy podcasting trio gets ladylike.

Enjoy; here are your best bets for the weekend.

Thursday, September 29

The Hardy & Nance Studios presents "Right Response: Artists Respond to SCOTUS"

For this three-day art show, artists will be mostly responding to the recent revocation of Roe vs Wade and how it affects Texans under SB8. Artists include Patrycja Admowicz, Katy Anderson, Sheridan Bradshaw Tonche, Ann Bromley, Anne Byrd, Thedra Cullar-Ledford, Allison Currie, Sandra de la Rosa, Esther Delaquis-Baidoo, Sharon Engelstein, Sharon Kopriva, Stephanie Larsen, Amari Lavergne, August Lewis, Kim Miranda, Michelle O’Michael, M. Morgan, Lizbeth Ortiz, Claire Richards, Leslie Roades, Anat Ronen, Leslie Roznovski, Lex Simone, Stäcy Smith, N. Waggs, and Brandi Untz. 5 pm.

WindSync: The Road to Abbey Road

Houston’s wind quintet WindSync is headed to Abbey Road. Before they travel to London to record in the legendary Studio Two at Abbey Road Studios, they'll perform music by a broad range of artists connected to Abbey Road, including the Beatles, composer Edward Elgar, Radiohead, and Uruguayan-American musician Miguel del Aguila. The performance will take place below 8th Wonder Brewery’s iiconic Beatles statues, Houston sculptor David Adickes’ tribute to the Fab Four. 7:30 pm.

The Rustic presents Bidi Bidi Banda

The Rustic will be celebrating the life and music of the incomparable Selana with this live performance from tribute band Bidi Bidi Banda. There will also be a look-alike contest, awarding top prizes to a few lucky winners who best capture the styles and fashions of La Reina de Tex-Mex. First place is a $200 Rustic gift card, while second place is a $100 gift card and third place is a $50 gift card. This event is majority standing room throughout the facility, and a full menu is available. This event is free with RSVP, so dress up and come early. 8:30 pm.

Friday, September 30

Everybody's Favorite Barbecue & Hot Sauce Festival

The presumably titled Everybody's Favorite BBQ & Hot Sauce Festival is a three-day festival featuring food and national music performances. It is a diverse event that highlights the aroma of traditional barbecue while bringing together a multicultural, outdoor social setting. And let’s not forget that bottles and bottles of hot sauce will be around for those who like their barbecue to give them that extra kick in the pants, so to speak. Musical performers will include Mark May, Dirty Red & The Soul Shakers, and Kerri Lick. 6 pm (5 pm Saturday).

Amanda Seales: The Black Outside Again Tour

Comedian, actress, podcaster and social justice advocate Amanda Seales comes to Houston as part of her new tour. With an uncanny knack for taking serious topics (racism, rape culture, sexism, police brutality, etc.) and lacing them with humor, making them relatable and interesting, she combines intellectual wit, silliness, and a pop-culture obsession to create her unique style of smart, funny content for the stage and screen. 7:30 pm.

HaVoK & Rogue Vogue present A Moonlight Masquerade

HaVoK & Rogue Vogue present this masquerade celebration, featuring a runway presentation by Sabrina Nicole’s Rogue Vogue. The event will include special guests Angela Ryan and Dan Miga Designs, a burlesque performance by Summer Dubose, a fetish performance by Mistress Meana Rose, music from DJ Whisperwish, and a vendor market (including Thorn and Moon Apothecary, Grateful Grounded Gems and others). Masquerade masks and attire are required, and the dress code will be strictly enforced. 8 pm.

Houston Symphony presents "Gershwin Concerto in F"

Brimming with the toe-tapping jazz rhythms of the 1920s, George Gershwin’s effervescent, free-spirited Concerto in F is positively guaranteed to leave audiences uplifted. Jeffrey Kahane will be both the conductor and soloist for a program celebrating great American composers, past and present, including outstanding recent compositions of Adolphus Hailstork and Shawn Okpebholo, along with the unbridled energy and heart-on-sleeve passion of Samuel Barber’s Symphony No. 1. 8 pm (2:30 pm Sunday).

Saturday, October 1

Barbie Truck Totally Throwback Malibu Tour

The Barbie Truck Totally Throwback Malibu Tour comes to The Woodlands with exclusive retro-inspired merchandise as part of its continuing U.S. tour to celebrate the 50th Anniversary and iconic heritage of the original California girl. The truck will offer an array of new '70s-themed Malibu Barbie beach apparel and accessories, including Barbie-logo embroidered denim jackets, pink Barbie-logo hoodies, tie-dye bucket hats, embroidered patch sets, stainless thermal bottles, beach towels, and more. The truck will be located near Pottery Barn and Shake Shack. 10 am.

CityCentre presents First Annual Biergarten

CityCentre will host its first-ever, two-day Biergarten. From beer aficionados to casual drinkers, all are invited to enjoy specialty drinks and food, including some new and seasonal Oktoberfest beers. The event will also include an American twist – football! So, bring some friends, take a seat, and watch football games on the huge, 23-foot TV all day long in the plaza.

Non-alcoholic beverages will also be offered. No outside food or drink is allowed, but many CityCentre restaurants will provide lite bites and meals to go for guests to enjoy as they watch the games. 11 am.

2022 H-Town on Tap Beer Fest

You are in for a great day of beer and fun at Water Works Park this weekend. This premier beer festival will showcase over 100 beers from local and national breweries. Each brewery will have a variety of beers on tap for you to enjoy throughout the day. Outside of rare beers, there will be plenty of activities to enjoy, including live bands, trendy local chefs, games, giveaways, picture booths, contests, and so much more. 2 pm.

Oktoberfest at Sugar Land Town Square

Lovers of beer, food, and family fun are invited to Sugar Land Town Square for the debut of Oktoberfest. Visitors can enjoy a curated biergarten, local marketplace by Boho Market, live music and dancing, traditional German fare, games, contests, and more. More fun includes the Dachshund Dash, stein races, and stein holding contests, tarot card readers, caricature artists, jugglers, stilt walkers, and more special surprises. Expect food from a host of local restaurants and of course, Flying Saucer Biergarten beers. Event is free, with food and drink available to purchase. 4 pm.

Weird Al Yankovic in concert with Emo Philips

"Weird Al" Yankovic burst onto the scene over three decades ago and never looked back. For the second time in his storied career, the world's foremost musical satirist and five-time Grammy winner foregoes his usual high-octane, big-production show for an intimate evening of music, focusing on original (non-parody) songs from his 14-album catalog. Marking his highly anticipated return to the concert stage after his hugely successful Strings Attached Tour in 2019, this is a rare opportunity to get up-close and personal with this legendary performer. 8 pm.

Sunday, October 2

Chefs for Farmers

For the first time ever, Chefs For Farmers will be making its official debut in the Space City with a lineup of the city's top chefs for one mouthwatering, food and wine experience. Attendees will get to devour delicious eats from over 20 of the hottest Houston chefs, who will be partnering with a variety of regional farms to curate dishes that will satisfy guests' taste buds. Each all-inclusive ticket includes unlimited bites, drinks and live entertainment. For the inaugural year, they have partnered with Houston Food Bank as the official charity partner. 1 pm.

The Museum of Fine Arts, Houston presents El Norte

After their family is killed in a government massacre, a brother and sister flee Guatemala on a perilous trek to the USA. Close calls with immigration and the dehumanizing effects of such a crossing compound the challenges of adapting to a new life. This timeless 1983 classic of Chicano cinema was directed by Gregory Nava (Selena). This “Movies Houstonians Love” presentation honors the late Michael Olivas, a law scholar and University of Houston professor emeritus who passed away in April 2022. Augustina Reyes, professor emerita at University of Houston College of Education, will introduce the film. 2 pm.

LadyGang presents The Lady Secrets Tour

The creators of the wildly popular podcast LadyGang — Keltie Knight, Becca Tobin, and Jac Vanek — come to Houston as part of The Lady Secrets Tour. LadyGang began with the mission to make women feel less alone. Since 2015, the show has boasted over 175 million downloads, guests like Chelsea Handler, Bethenny Frankel, Tan France, Kristin Chenoweth, Lucy Hale, Shania Twain, Paris Hilton, Darren Criss and RuPaul, topped the podcast charts, and spawned a television series, clothing line, accessories line, and a book, Act Like a Lady. 7 pm.