14 Incredible Facts About the Houston Livestock Show and Rodeo

Paul Hudson
Paul Hudson | Flickr
Lauren Rogers

The Houston Livestock Show and Rodeo (HLSR) is a dusty, rowdy and all-out remarkable jewel of Texas. Keeping old and new traditions alive, this event is the largest livestock and rodeo show in the world. Now that’s Texas-sized. New Orleans has Mardi Gras, Houston has the HLSR. Famous entertainers from Elvis Presley to Justin Bieber have performed at this event, and the list this year is no exception. Here are some facts about the HLSR to inspire you to make the trip to Houston!

Roy Rogers once attended the HLSR in disguise

Clearly, this event has always drawn celebrities. In fear of being swarmed by adoring fans, Rogers allegedly wore a fake mustache and a fireman’s uniform to avoid the crowds while he enjoyed the rodeo.

Mutton bustin’ is the crowd favorite

The fact that this sport exists is a reason all its own to attend HLSR. Five- to six-year-olds ride on the backs of sheep hanging on for dear life. Cue the YouTube spiral.

2018 Mutton Bustin’

There’s shopping to take with you back to the farm or the city

With over 300 vendors, you can grab some new cowboy boots or whatever farm gear you need.

The show is during Houston’s best season: spring

If a Texas summer is intimidating to you, this show is a great time of year to visit the city. During “Azalea Season,” Houston‘s flowers are blossoming and the weather is at a lovely 70 degrees.

Charles Bell

It has a history of donating $40 million to youth scholarships

Since the rodeo is such a money-maker for the city of Houston, HLSR decided to give back to the community each year.

Not only do you have an excuse to eat a lot of barbecue, you can compete in a competition

Because you need to show off your eating skills.

Attending this event is a great way to donate to the city

According to the show’s website, “Expanded over the life of the show’s current 30-year lease at NRG Park, the increase in government revenue is estimated by the Show staff to exceed $820,000,000.” From an increase in the number of people contributing to the overall revenue of the city to the jobs created, HLSR gives Houston a great economic boost.

Katie Haugland Bowen

Senior citizens get in free!

‘Nough said.

It’s been going on since 1931

Believe it or not, the first event lost money. Since opening, this show has evolved and grown into an event that has survived wars and recessions.

There’s a wine show

Because you’ll need some wine to wash down all that brisket!

It’s a great opportunity for school tours and field trips

If you want to help get kids off their phones and into a life-changing experience, bring them along to HLSR for a long-lasting memory.

You can earn money during the calf scramble

If you’re a student and have a special gift of catching baby cows, you should consider signing up for this event. If you’re skilled/lucky enough to catch one, you can earn a $1,750 certificate to purchase a registered beef heifer or market steer to show at next year’s HLSR.

2018 Calf Scramble

It’s a fun way to get the farm experience in a city setting

If you’re nostalgic for the days of visiting grandparents or friends on their farm, walk through the barns of HLSR to take a look at some cows and horses without having to drive out to the edges of the city.

As always in Houston, this event has crazy-good food

Like chocolate-covered jalapeños and giant pickle-stuffed corn dogs to name just a few treats.

Culture Trip Summer Sale

Save up to $1,395 on our unique small-group trips! Limited spots.

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