A Cultural Experience at the Houston Rodeo

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!

Screen Shot 2015-03-09 at 00.37.44 Screen Shot 2015-03-09 at 00.37.14
IMG_7325You 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!

2.  Grab the lovely button and link back to your lovely hosts: me, Marcella, Amanda, and Caity

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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  • http://prettythingandco.com/ Madaline

    One time I got kissed by a rodeo clown… I was not amused. Haha.

    • http://mishfish13.com/ Michelle @ Mishfish13

      Hahah! Oh man, did he smell like livestock?

  • http://snowintromso.com/ Van @ Snow in Tromso

    Haha, when you said Houston Rodeo, I was like “Sara from Of Golden Roses was there too. Did you meet her?” and then you said the rodeo takes place the whole of March :D I still find it awesome though and would love to visit one myself one day!!

    • http://mishfish13.com/ Michelle @ Mishfish13

      I remember when she posted that! Her photos were so much better than mine! Next time you visit the States, you should try to squeeze it into your schedule ;)

  • http://agirlandhertravels.com/ Polly

    I read this just a few minutes after getting a notice for the county tractor pull later in April. Haha, the south man…

    • http://mishfish13.com/ Michelle @ Mishfish13

      Hahaha oh my gosh, for real…
      Despite me groaning about the south, I’d still go to see what the fuss is all about haha

  • http://www.twofeet-oneworld.com/ Jessi @2feet1world

    Wow, a whole month of rodeo?! That’s intense. Great pics – you really give the flavour of the place :)

    • http://mishfish13.com/ Michelle @ Mishfish13

      Yeah! One of my friends here in Austin went for the final rounds, which were really intense. Thanks, Jessi :))

  • http://www.clemandmarcella.wordpress.com/ Marcella ~ WhatAWonderfulWorld

    Crazy! I didn’t realise it was a whole month long. What a fun experience and some really great action shots :)

    • http://mishfish13.com/ Michelle @ Mishfish13

      I know. I can’t even imagine a city hosting a festival for so long! The week-long one here in Austin was bad enough! Thanks, Marcella :)

  • http://www.crumbsinthebed.com/ Kerri

    I’ve seen one or two blog posts about this rodeo already so I can’t wait to hear your stories too! A rodeo just sounds super American to me… I don’t know of any other place that has cowboys, or kids that ride sheep!

    • http://mishfish13.com/ Michelle @ Mishfish13

      Haha, I know, I’m a little late to the rodeo game ;) Hopefully it’s not too repetitive. Yeah, it’s epitome American… but not too common in the North. State Fairs, on the other hand…

  • http://lanivcox.wordpress.com/ Lani

    Love your photos! It sounds like a lot of fun. I would totally dig it because I used have this thing for cowboys. Don’t laugh. Used to. Yes, cowboys. I hope you have some cuties coming up ;)

    • http://mishfish13.com/ Michelle @ Mishfish13

      Hahaha! I’ll let you in on a little secret: I used to too ;) I blame the local channels and their all-American kids’ shows!
      Let me look in the peripherals of my photos. I’m sure something will pop up hahaha

    • http://www.californienne.com/ Marianne

      Nothing wrong with a good cowboy crush :)

  • http://www.californienne.com/ Marianne

    omg this was fabulous. The asterisk next to John Legends name?! wtf. When I was younger I used to go to livestock events with my dad and he’d buy cattle (we used to raise our own grass fed beef). It was bizarre and the auctioneer was like a total cartoon. I’ve been to an actual rodeo a couple times, but just small ones. My favorite event was when they let four and five year olds ride on sheep.
    This is another one of your posts that just screams “Amurica.” But I guess that’s what happens when you’re living in Texas. :) I’m loving it.

    • http://mishfish13.com/ Michelle @ Mishfish13

      Hahaha, thanks Marianne :) I know… I couldn’t really believe it when I read that. WHOA. So you grew up with cows and everything?? That’s pretty cool! I wish my parents had my ride sheep when I was young. Would’ve schooled all those other kids hahaha.

      Hahaha thanks. My posts are getting a little too ‘Murica lately, but what can I do? Hahaha.

      • http://www.californienne.com/ Marianne

        yeah I grew up with cows when I was younger but I always thought they were boring. I always wanted a horse because my friend who lived near me had two, but we never got one. Oh well We didn’t live on a farm or anything, just the cows

        • http://mishfish13.com/ Michelle @ Mishfish13

          Oh, so now you’re too bougie for cows, huh? :p I REALLY wanted a horse when I was younger. I didn’t even ride horses and I really wanted one. So you lived in a normal suburb and just had cows in the backyard LOL

          • http://www.californienne.com/ Marianne

            ha! no I wasn’t “too bougie” for cows but I distinctly remember telling my dad at one point (in the midst of begging for a horse), “but the cows don’t DO anything!!” And no, we lived in the boonies of the very northern most California, where the nearest school had less than 50 students. The nearest big city was Arcata, which was about a 20 minute drive.

  • http://adventitiousviolet.com/ Camila @ AdventitiousViolet

    Oh man I don’t think I would go to a livestock show like that – it just feels like they are mistreated. If I can pet them then it’s another story! And shame on that asterisk!!

    • http://mishfish13.com/ Michelle @ Mishfish13

      Yeah, for sure. Once I got in, I regretted my decision to go a bit :(