Rodeo rides back
One of the biggest celebrations of old West culture returns as the 2009 Houston Livestock Show and Rodeo hitches a ride Tuesday until March 22 at Reliant Park. More than 35,000 people are expected to attend the showcase of livestock shows, animal auctions, broncos, trail rides, carnivals and plenty of food.’
Texas and national agriculture get a front row seat in the Livestock and Horse Show where thousands of amateur and professional contestants will fill the Reliant Center and Reliant Arena. Various horse shows and competitions have already taken place since Tuesday, a week earlier than usual, in order to exhibit a larger display of horse breeds. The next competition is the AQHA Cutting Horse Competition at 8 a.m. Friday at the Reliant Arena.
The crowd-pleasing World’s Championship Bar-B-Que Contest kicks off from 5 to11 p.m. Thursday and continues at noon to 11 p.m. Friday, and 9 a.m. to 11 p.m. Saturday.’
Friday is also Go Texan Day in Houston, and it is Rodeo tradition to dress in Western attire. On Saturday, the Downtown Rodeo Parade featuring floats and marching bands, including UH’s own ‘Spirit of Houston’ marching band, begins at 10 a.m. at Smith and Texas Streets and winds up at Walker Street and Bagby Street.’
The Classic Rodeo Houston BP Super Series starts at 6:45 p.m. Tuesday at the Reliant Stadium and will showcase the world’s best in roping, riding and racing.’
Special days at the Rodeo include Black Heritage Day on March 6, with exhibits of black Texan pioneers and performances by r&b singers Gladys Knight and Solange. Similarly, Go Tejano Day on March 15 features Fiesta Charra and performances by Latin American artists Ramon Ayala and Alacranes Musical.’
Salute to Our Troops Day, a day honoring active duty and veteran personnel in the U.S. military, is hosted on March 18. More hours are given for fun and not work as the carnival opens early for the Spring Break Stampede from March 17-22.’
Concert-wise, popular music artists will perform such as Darius Rucker (lead singer from Hootie and the Blowfish), Rascal Flatts, The Jonas Brothers, Toby Keith, Reba McEntire, Clint Black, Keith Urban, Brooks & Dunn, ZZ Top and Taylor Swift.
The rodeo does not just serve as a place to relax and show off cowboy skills, it also serves a worthy cause in education. The HLSR is a non-profit, charitable event that plans to donate more than $10.9 million to education this year. More than $200 million have been raised to help Texan students since 1932.’
‘The primary goal of the committees is to raise funds to support education in Texas,’ said junior political science major David Tucker, an active volunteer for the event.’
For Tucker, the Rodeo ‘provides Houston with a celebration of Western heritage and is a wonderful event for fundraising.”
The old West offers – cultural and ethnic heritage, agriculture and much more – are roped into just a few weeks of activities, so the show should not be missed.’
Individual rodeo tickets start at $10 and can go up to the $300. Reliant Park admission tickets are $4 for children, $7 for adults and free for children under the age of two. Value Wednesdays tickets are only $5.’
For more information, visit http://www.hlsr.com/ or call 832-667-1000.’