Even a hermit would’ve known I went to the Houston Rodeo and thoroughly enjoyed it. Someone would’ve walked right up to him or her and said, “Man, that @mishfish13 is really blowing up my Twitter feed today! And she’s so happy-scared to be at the rodeo!” because boy, I was so Twitter-active while at the rodeo. Also this someone is from the South because who else would be checking #HoustonRodeo?
Walking into the fairgrounds was kind of like blinking and then realizing everyone around you is an alien. An alien wearing a cowboy hat and cowboy boots, carrying a lasso.
I experienced the equivalent of two lifetimes at the rodeo, so you can imagine how hard it was to decide whether or not to make this a series or to just sum it all up. In the end, I decided to make it a mini-series mostly because I have so many stories to tell you (and what else am I going to do with these livestock photos?). And no one has the time to read a whole book on it. This post will serve as general information to introduce you guys to what this was all about.
When is it?
The Houston Rodeo runs for basically the whole month of March in Houston, Texas. Surprise, surprise.
What is it?
Officially called The Houston Livestock Show and Rodeo, the Houston Rodeo is the largest one of its kind and has been a thing in Houston since 2003. Like any American fair, there’s a street filled with fair food favorites, like BBQ, funnel cakes, turkey legs—but this one is different in that they tack “Texas-sized” in front of everything. For those of you that don’t speak Texan, that’s code for “3 times as big.” So instead of funnel cakes, you’d get Texas-sized funnel cakes; instead of burgers you’d get Texas-sized burgers, and so on. There’s a typical fair portion of it, with little games where you can win GIANT stuffed animals as prizes, rides, and whatnot.
Other than food, they also include agricultural exhibitions, tracing the agricultural development and movement of the United States. Apparently in Texas, there’s a popular high-school association called FFA, which stands for Future Farmers’ Association. Like always, there’s also all these (cowboy-related) vendors that sell things like cowboy boots, bedazzled jean shirts (what’s with cowboys and bedazzling?), RVs, knit rugs, and Houston Rodeo paraphernalia. Believe me, I was tempted.
There’s also a livestock show, where they squeeze hundreds of pigs, sheep, and cows in all these pens into the main auditorium. Occasionally, they’re taken out for a walk in front of a crowd, where they’re judged for who knows what—but more about this experience later. Ironically, this is only my second time going to a livestock-based event.
But most importantly, the rodeo show. This is when cowboys strut their stuff and show us how good they are at being cowboys. They compete in events like barrel racing, bareback riding, bull riding, saddle bronc riding, steer wrestling, team roping, and tie-down roping. I’m proud to say that I now know what all of those entail. And yes, it does sound and feel a little like Roman gladiator fighting.
Finally, after the rodeo show, they make way for a concert.
Now, I didn’t know that the Houston Rodeo was so big an event until I heard about the entertainment line-up. To give you somewhat of an idea of how big this event is, I’ll just mention a few names for this year’s entertainment. The night that I arrived in Houston, my friend told me that we were currently missing John Legend’s performance; on Thursday, they’re going to see the Eli Young Band. Others include Fall Out Boy, The Band Perry, Ariana Grande, Pitbull, and Floride Georgia Line. All for THIS YEAR. I was blown away. In fact, the band that was playing the night I went had played there 22 years in total. I secretly think that the rodeo has only been a thing for 22 years and he had been there every year since the beginning.
PS: I just want to state that John Legend’s name had an asterisk next to it. And then I read *in celebration of Black History Month. Wait, WHAT? No, Houston, no!
A few photos
To get you psyched for a few stories to come, I’m sharing a few prize photos from that weekend. Enjoy!
You know shit gets real when they set off fireworks inside.
Have you ever been to a state fair? Or anything involving livestock? Would you?
Welcome to this week’s Travel Tuesday linkup with A Compass Rose!
This week, I’m highlighting Jacqueline from Boy & Girl Globetrot and her post “…My Meltdown on the Gondola.” I have immense respect for those that hit potholes during their travels and are still able to laugh and blog about it—speaking from someone whose travels are never as smooth as I’d like them to be.
I’m also here to announce next week’s Travel Tuesday Theme: Where you come from//why you left? This is so we all can get to know each other a little more! You can talk about where you left (your hometown) and why you loved it… but also talk about what prompted your move (if any!). Looking forward to reading these!
Ready to link up? Let’s get to it!
Here’s how it works:
1. Share a post about travel! From roadtrips to trips abroad and from past travels to dream vacations. You can write about travel tips and tricks, favorite places to stay or anything in between! Just make it about traveling somewhere!
3. Linkup goes live! Every Tuesday at 8 am GMT.
4. Hop around and meet new travel-loving bloggers! Link up will be open for a few days, make sure to check back to visit some of the newer travel posts!
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