For any newcomers to Houston within the last year or for people who’ve never been to RodeoHouston, I simply describe it as our “Mardi Gras.”
The Houston Livestock Show and Rodeo, also known as RodeoHouston, is the world’s largest live entertainment and livestock exhibition along with the world’s richest regular season rodeo event. It draws more than 2 million people and over 28,000 volunteers to Reliant Park over a three-week period.
Downtown Rodeo Roundup held near Houston City Hall already kicked off RodeoHouston on Tuesday. On Thursday, the World’s Championship Bar-B-Que Contest kicks off followed by the Downtown Rodeo parade – Texas A&M head coach Kevin Sumlin will be the grand marshal -- and the ConocoPhillips Rodeo Run on Saturday morning.
In addition to the championship rodeo action, livestock competitions, and barbecue contest, other highlights of the event include a carnival, sales and livestock auctions food, pig racing, shopping, and the Rodeo Uncorked! International Wine Competition.
But one of the biggest draws every year is the concert lineup. The rodeo has drawn some of the world's biggest recording artists, including Kiss, Elvis Presley, Bob Dylan, Brooks & Dunn, George Strait, Garth Brooks, Willie Nelson, Selena, Bon Jovi, ZZ Top and Lynyrd Skynyrd, among others. Click here for the 2013 RodeoHouston concert lineup.
After all the fun, the best part of RodeoHouston is its mission: to help Houston-area students get to college by handing out scholarships and its charitable contributions. Since its beginning in 1932, the Houston Livestock Show and Rodeo has committed more than $330 million to these causes over the years and plans to give away about $24 million, including 700 new scholarships, this year.