The 2018 Texas rodeo season is upon us, y’all!
Here in Texas, rodeo serves as our legacy, and depending on who you ask, it is undoubtedly our state sport.
With the grand opening of the livestock shows and rodeos across our great state comes tons of revelry, celebration, food and old fashioned fun.
Gather up the family and your closest friends, and plan for a night out where bucking bulls, the sideshow, and fall off the bone barbecue await.
Here’s our list of the best and biggest rodeo shows to see in Texas:
- Houston Livestock Show and Rodeo
- San Angelo Stock Show and Rodeo
- Matagorda County Fair
- San Antonio Stock Show and Rodeo
Keep reading to find out when exactly these rodeos are open for business and what makes each one unique!
Houston Livestock Show and Rodeo
Everything is bigger in Texas and the same goes for Houston’s Livestock Show and Rodeo, the world’s largest event of its kind. It was founded in 1932, and year after year continues to grow with momentum.
The world biggest rodeo includes livestock auctions and sales, a kick off Rodeo Run, a parade, Trail Rides, a wine show, calf scrambles, world class music concerts each night, a horse show and you guessed it, a rodeo competition.
The pre-Rodeo kick off happens on February 22nd with the World’s Championship Bar-B-Que Contest. While most of these tents are invitation only, there are several tents open to the public such as The Garden and The Chuck Wagon. The carnival is also open starting this date.
The Rodeo Run takes place on Saturday, February 24th, and the parade happens on the same day at 10am, starting at Bagby and Walker streets in Downtown Houston.
But the rodeo itself opens February 27th and runs through March 18th. All the action takes place at NRG Park and inside NRG Stadium.
Inside the Houston Rodeo itself there is both what is called the Super Series which runs for 19 days, and the Super Shootout which is a team based competition and runs for one day alone.
The Super Series is a tournament-style competition that crowns an event champion in bareback riding, saddle bronc riding, steer wrestling, bull riding, tie-down roping, team roping and women’s barrel racing. Each champion is awarded $50,000 plus a custom-made saddle and belt buckle, and an invitation to compete at Rodeo Houston the following year.
The series is held each night in NRG stadium with the exception of March 18, the final day of the rodeo.
San Angelo Stock Show and Rodeo
Head to West Texas, where the real cowboys live and breathe rodeo, and check out the San Angelo Stock Show and Rodeo, which opens on Thursday, February 1 and runs through Sunday, February 18, 2018.
The rodeo is held in the Foster Communications Coliseum on the San Angelo Fairgrounds and hosts typical rodeo fare such as a bull riding contest, live stock competitions, saddle bronc riding and time events like team roping, tie-down roping, steer wrestling and women’s barrel racing. There is also entertainment on the Friday, Saturday and Sunday throughout the duration of the event.
The organizers of this rodeo like to mention the crowd. Here is where you’ll find folks that love rodeo perhaps more than any other, and it’s the only place in the world where the tie-down ropers get a louder cheer from the crowd than a bull rider!
Ready to immerse yourself among the sports’ best fans?
Matagorda County Fair
Head to the beautiful seaside town of Matagorda for their annual County Fair, held from February 16th – March 3rd, 2018. Matagorda is a place to escape the big smoke, and take it from us, the place to find the best and juicy Gulf caught shrimp.
A barbecue cook-off opens the event, along with a royalty pageant on the same day. Saturday February 17th sees a beauty pageant take place, along with the first round of rodeo, and a judging contest for best barbecue. The fair also includes a carnival.
From an arts and craft contest to live stock judging and barrel racing, the Matagorda County Fair is a place to find small town charm and the true essence of what Texas rodeo is all about. Make a weekend of it, rent a beach house, and take the whole family.
San Antonio Stock Show and Rodeo
The San Antonio Stock Show and Rodeo runs from February 8th – February 25th, 2018, and is the largest and most prestigious single events in San Antonio’s history.
From dog shows to family entertainment, from Texas longhorns to down and dirty bareback riding, San Antonio puts on a great display of community and celebration for our state’s “national sport.”
Top country singers descend on the Alamo City for weeks of concerts and top rodeo riders perform for top honors.
Something unique about the San Antonio Rodeo is the Texas Wildlife Expo, that includes sand castle workshops, a Texas zoo which connects Texas wildlife with folks from across the world, and the Butterfly Encounter, which allows visitors the opportunity to walk through a butterfly enclosure. There is even the opportunity to learn how to mend a butterfly wing.
Saddle up, strap on your spurs, and enjoy this year’s rodeos and stock shows!