Houston Livestock Show and Rodeo

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Houston Livestock Show and Rodeo
Houston Livestock Show and Rodeo logo.png
Reliant Stadium Houston Rodeo.jpg
Reliant Stadium filled with rodeo attendees at the 2006 HLSR
GenreRodeo, livestock show and fair
Dates3–22 March 2015
Location(s)Houston, Texas, United States
Founded1931 (as the Houston Fat Stock Show and Livestock Exposition)
Attendance2,485,721 (2014)[1]
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Houston Livestock Show and Rodeo
Houston Livestock Show and Rodeo logo.png
Reliant Stadium Houston Rodeo.jpg
Reliant Stadium filled with rodeo attendees at the 2006 HLSR
GenreRodeo, livestock show and fair
Dates3–22 March 2015
Location(s)Houston, Texas, United States
Founded1931 (as the Houston Fat Stock Show and Livestock Exposition)
Attendance2,485,721 (2014)[1]

The Houston Livestock Show and Rodeo, also called RodeoHouston or abbreviated HLSR, is the world's largest live entertainment and livestock exhibition.[citation needed] It also includes one of the richest regular-season rodeo events. It has been held at NRG Stadium in Houston, Texas, since 2003. It was previously held in the Astrodome.[2] It is considered to be the city's "signature event", much like New Orleans's Mardi Gras, Dallas's Texas State Fair, and New York City's New Year's Eve at Times Square.[3]

In 2013, attendance reached a record high of 2,506,238 people[4] requiring more than 28,000 volunteers. In 2007, the rodeo was deemed "the year of the volunteer."[5] The event is 20 days long. It is kicked off by the Downtown Rodeo Roundup held near Houston City Hall, the Downtown Rodeo parade, and the ConocoPhillips Rodeo Run - a 10k and 5k walk & run and the World's Championship Bar-B-Que Contest.[6] The show features championship rodeo action, livestock competitions, concerts, a carnival, pig racing, barbecue and the Rodeo Uncorked! International Wine Competition, shopping, sales and livestock auctions. Traditional trail rides, which start in different areas of Texas and end in Houston, precede the Rodeo events.[7] The City of Houston celebrates this event with Go Texan Day, where residents are encouraged to dress in western wear the Friday before the rodeo begins.[8]

The rodeo has drawn some of the world's biggest recording artists, including Kiss, Elvis Presley, Bob Dylan, Brooks & Dunn, George Strait, Garth Brooks, Willie Nelson, Selena, Bon Jovi, ZZ Top, Taylor Swift and Lynyrd Skynyrd, among others.

Entertainment Lineup[edit]

2009 Entertainment Lineup[edit]

March 3Rascal Flatts
March 4Alan Jackson
March 5Clay Walker
March 6Gladys Knight and Solange
March 7Trace Adkins
March 8Jonas Brothers
March 9Lady Antebellum
March 10Toby Keith
March 11Reba McEntire
March 12Brad Paisley
March 13Clint Black
March 14Josh Turner
March 15Ramon Ayala and Alacranes Musical
March 16Darius Rucker
March 17Keith Urban
March 18Gary Allan
March 19Pat Green
March 20Taylor Swift
March 21Brooks & Dunn
March 22ZZ Top


2010 Entertainment Lineup[edit]

March 3Dierks Bentley
March 4Kenny Chesney
March 5Mary J. Blige
March 6Jason Aldean
March 7Jonas Brothers and Demi Lovato
March 8Tim McGraw
March 9Darius Rucker
March 10Rascal Flatts
March 11Brad Paisley
March 12Toby Keith
March 13Blake Shelton
March 14Grupo Pesado and El Trono de México
March 15Lady Antebellum
March 16Keith Urban
March 17Gary Allen
March 18The Black Eyed Peas
March 19Eli Young Band
March 20Brooks and Dunn
March 21Justin Bieber and Selena Gomez


2011 Entertainment Lineup[edit]

March 1Clay Walker
March 2Trace Adkins
March 3Sugarland
March 4Janet Jackson
March 5Billy Currington
March 6Selena Gomez
March 7Tim McGraw
March 8Keith Urban
March 9Martina McBride
March 10Rascal Flatts
March 11Lady Antebellum
March 12Gary Allan
March 13La Arrolladora Banda El Limón and La Leyenda
March 14Kid Rock
March 15KISS
March 16Miranda Lambert
March 17Zac Brown Band
March 18Alan Jackson
March 19Brad Paisley
March 20Jason Aldean


2012 Entertainment Lineup[edit]

February 28Alabama
February 29Kid Rock
March 1Lady Antebellum
March 2John Legend
March 3Luke Bryan
March 4Big Time Rush
March 5Eli Young Band
March 6Enrique Iglesias
March 7Blake Shelton
March 8ZZ Top
March 9Reba McEntire
March 10Chris Young
March 11La Original Banda El Limón and Duelo
March 12Zac Brown Band
March 13Miranda Lambert
March 14The Band Perry
March 15Jason Aldean
March 16Train
March 17Brad Paisley
March 18Alan Jackson


2013 Entertainment Lineup[edit]

Feb. 25Toby Keith
Feb. 26Gary Allan
Feb. 27Alan Jackson
Feb. 28Zac Brown Band
Mar. 1Mary J. Blige
Mar. 2Brantley Gilbert
Mar. 3Demi Lovato, Austin Mahone
Mar. 4Styx
Mar. 5Lady Antebellum
Mar. 6Dierks Bentley
Mar. 7Bruno Mars
Mar. 8Tim McGraw
Mar. 9The Band Perry
Mar. 10Julión Álvarez and Los Invasores de Nuevo León
Mar. 11Jason Aldean
Mar. 12Kenny Chesney
Mar. 13Jake Owen
Mar. 14Pitbull
Mar. 15Blake Shelton
Mar. 16Luke Bryan
Mar. 17George Strait, Martina McBride, Randy Rogers Band


2014 Entertainment Lineup[edit]

March 4Brad Paisley
March 5Eli Young Band
March 6Reba McEntire
March 7Usher
March 8Chris Young
March 9Selena Gomez
March 10REO Speedwagon
March 11Jason Aldean
March 12Jake Owen
March 13Maroon 5
March 14Keith Urban
March 15Hunter Hayes
March 16Grupo Pesado and Banda MS
March 17Luke Bryan
March 18Robin Thicke
March 19Florida Georgia Line
March 20Blake Shelton
March 21Easton Corbin
March 22The Band Perry
March 23Zac Brown Band

Go Texan Day[edit]

The Friday before the Parade is also known as "Go Texan Day," where the entire population of Houston is encouraged to dress in Western attire, such as jeans, cowboy boots, and cowboy hats. While the concept was discussed in 1938 by the General Manager of the Houston Chamber of Commerce, it was not until the 1950s that it finally was put into practice. In 1954, Archer Romero chaired the first Go Texan Committee to encourage what would later become a Houston tradition during the rodeo.[14]

Rodeo Parade[edit]

In 1937, planning had begun for the first Rodeo Parade leading up to the 1938 Houston Livestock Show and Rodeo. The first parade was headed by Mounted Police and various dignitaries on the city, county, and state levels, who also rode horseback. There were two bands with a Drum and Bugle Corp.

In 1952, the Salt Grass Trail ride was the first trail ride that was formed by only a few men. The following year, the publicity from that ride attracted more people to join.

All of the Trail Riders converge on Memorial Park to camp out for the night before heading down Memorial Drive to where it empties out onto Texas Ave to line up for the parade.

The parade has approximately 115 different groups joining in the festivities. There are 15 trail rides, 20 floats, 15 commercial wagons and stagecoaches, and 10 to 15 university and high-school marching bands in addition to Show officials, other elected officials and dignitaries on horseback and in vehicles.[15][16]

Trail Rides[edit]

The Trail Rides (cavalcades) are a long tradition with the rodeo and gather at Memorial Park to camp for a rest and party before the big Annual Rodeo Parade through Downtown Houston.

World's Championship Bar-B-Que Contest[edit]

The World's Championship Bar-B-Que Contest, also simply known as "The Cookoff," started in 1974 and has consistently drawn massive attendance numbers for the three-day event, drawing a record 264,132 visitors in 2013.[17] It takes place on the southern parking lot of Reliant Stadium, with over 350 teams participating every year, and is generally considered a "Hot Ticket," as most are for members or by invitation only. While the event is open to the general public, those that can get into the tents are generally allowed an unlimited amount of food and beverages.[18][19][20]

BBQ attendance figures
BBQ contest attendance2005200620072008200920102011201220132014

The Calf Scramble[edit]

Since the addition of the event in 1942, it has been one of the more popular events during the actual rodeo. The event features 14 calves and 28 students who must try to capture one of the calves, put a halter on it and bring it back into the "winners square" in order to claim the win. One of the rules is that as long as a contestant is actually in the act of holding the calf (i.e. Holding it by the tail) to get the halter on, no other participant may interfere unless the calf wriggles itself free. It's at this point where the calf is fair game once again. The event is held nightly between major events in the Reliant Stadium. Each of the students who catch a calf is awarded a $1,250 certificate to purchase a registered beef heifer. Raising and showing this heifer becomes a yearlong project as the scrambler sees to the grooming, feeding and care of the animal. The exhibitor returns to the Houston Livestock Show the following year for a special competition. Calf Scramble exhibitors receive a $250 bonus when they return to compete with their heifer, totaling their $1,500 certificate.[21]

Along with the calf scramble, Rodeo Houston, is home to several other events. Mutton Bustin', is the new attraction where 5- and 6-year-olds ride on top of sheep for 8 seconds. Rodeo Houston also homes Bull riding, bareback riding, saddle bronc riding, chuck wagon races, and Ladie barrell racing.


With between 60,000 and 150,000 people attending the rodeo each day, as of 2014,[22] the city's transportation infrastructure is taxed as it must also compete with regular Houston Rush Hour on regular business days. There are a variety of ways into and out of the complex that include Park and Ride lots in certain parts of the city that are provided by the event as an express straight onto the property, Taxi, Self Parking, and METRORail.[23] The Coordinators of the event try to persuade attendees to use public transportation as the most convenient way to and from the Rodeo.

Attendance records[edit]

Interior of the Reliant Stadium at the 2006 HLSR
Top ten attendance figures[24]
12013Julión Álvarez & Los Invasores de Nuevo León75,305[25]
22013Luke Bryan75,242[26]
32013Blake Shelton75,238[27]
42014Banda MS & Grupo Pesado75,224[28]
62014Maroon 575,214[30]
72013Bruno Mars75,177[31]
82014Luke Bryan75,078[32]
102014Blake Shelton75,054[34]
Show attendance history
YearGeneral attendanceRodeo attendance

(*) denotes all-time attendance record (#) denotes paid attendance figures beginning in 1999 (actual turnstile figures were reported through 1998).


1931 : First established as The Houston Fat Stock Show and Livestock Exposition.
1932 : First Show is held at the Sam Houston Hall.
1938 : Moved to new location: Sam Houston Coliseum.
1942 : First star entertainer: Gene Autry, "the Singing Cowboy"; calf scramble event added to the Show's rodeo.
1952 : First trail ride (Salt Grass Trail Ride) commences from Brenham, Texas.
1957 : First major educational scholarship ($2,000) awarded to Ben Dickerson.
1961 : Name changes to Houston Livestock Show and Rodeo.
1966 : New location: Astrodome complex; Astrohall built for Livestock Exposition.
1970 : Research program launched committing $100,000 annually in support of research studies at various universities and colleges in Texas
1974 : The first World's Championship Bar-B-Que Contest. Elvis Presley sets attendance record of 43,944. On his second show, on the same day, he breaks his own record drawing 44,175, for a one-day record 88,119
1975 : The Astroarena is completed.
1977 : Four-year scholarships increased from $4,000 to $6,000.
1983 : Four-year scholarships increased from $6,000 to $8,000.
1989 : Scholarship program expands to Houston metropolitan area.
1992 : Four-year scholarships upgraded from $8,000 to $10,000 retroactive to all students currently on scholarship.
1993  : Tejano superstar Selena breaks attendance record at the Astrodome by drawing a crowd of exactly 57,894 fans.
1994  : Tejano superstar Selena sets another attendance record at the Astrodome by drawing another crowd of 60,081 fans, breaking her previous record.
1995  : Tejano superstar Selena holds famed Astrodome concert with over 67,000 fans, again, breaking her previous records
1997 : Rodeo Institute for Teacher Excellence is created as a 3-year pilot program with $4.6 million in funding; websites www.hlsr.com and www.rodeohouston.com introduced.
1998 : Number of 4-H and FFA scholarships increased to 60 per program, totaling 120 four-year $10,000 awards.
1999 : Number of 4-H and FFA scholarships increased to 70 per program, totaling 140 four-year $10,000 awards; Opportunity Scholarships awarded based on financial need and academic excellence.
2000 : Rodeo Institute for Teacher Excellence extended another 3 years with another $4.6 million; Reliant Energy acquires naming rights for the Astrodomain; renamed Reliant Park includes the Reliant Astrodome, Reliant Arena, Reliant Hall, Reliant Center and Reliant Stadium.
2001 : Largest presentation of scholarships to date, with 300 four-year $10,000 awards through the Metropolitan, Opportunity and School Art scholarship programs, totaling $3 million.
2002 : George Strait sets paid attendance record for any Rodeo event in the Reliant Astrodome with 68,266; Reliant Hall is demolished.
2003 : New location: Reliant Stadium and Reliant Center; Carruth Plaza, a Western sculpture garden named in honor of past president and chairman, Allen H. "Buddy" Carruth, completed at Reliant Park.
2006 : Brooks & Dunn break rodeo attendance record set by Hilary Duff in 2005 with 72,867 in attendance.
2007 : The Cheetah Girls and supporting act Hannah Montana sell out in just three minutes and set a new rodeo attendance record of 73,291.
2008 : Hannah Montana sets an attendance record of 73,459.
2009 : Ramón Ayala and Alacranes Musical set the all-time paid Rodeo attendance record on Go Tejano Day, with 74,147 in attendance for championship Rodeo action, concert entertainment and the Mariachi finals.
2012 : The Professional Bull Riders held their first event at Reliant Stadium, and it was their first to be a part of RodeoHouston.
2013 : George Strait, Martina McBride, and the Randy Rogers Band set a new all-time attendance record with 80,020.

See also[edit]


  1. ^ http://www.chron.com/disp/story.mpl/metropolitan/6922775.html
  2. ^ http://english.peopledaily.com.cn/90001/90782/90873/7328336.html
  3. ^ http://english.peopledaily.com.cn/90001/90782/90873/7328336.html
  4. ^ hlsr.com/AboutUs/LatestNews/Article/ARTMid/394/ArticleID/254/All-In-All-Done-2013-Show-Concludes-With-Record-Shattering-Attendance
  5. ^ http://www.khou.com/entertainment/rodeo-houston/Houston-Livestock-Show--Rodeo-sets-attendance-record-with-21M-visitors-88824857.html
  6. ^ http://www.myfoxhouston.com/dpp/sports/110225-conocophillips-rodeo-run
  7. ^ "The Salt Grass Trail Ride". texasbob.com January 01, 2007. Last accessed January 11, 2007.
  8. ^ http://www.usmedequip.com/our-commitment-detail.php?intPID=23&intPageID=11
  9. ^ "Artist Lineup". Houston Livestock Show and Rodeo. Retrieved 2009-01-31. 
  10. ^ [1]
  11. ^ [2]
  12. ^ "Houston Rodeo reveals performance lineup for 2012 show". January 9, 2012. 
  13. ^ [HLSR.com/Concerts.aspx]
  14. ^ HLSR's History Page
  15. ^ Houston Livestock Show And Rodeo - "Bowlegged H" Magazine Archive - Committee Spotlights
  16. ^ Houston Livestock Show And Rodeo - Downtown Rodeo Parade and Route
  17. ^ http://www.africannewsdigest.com/index.php?option=com_content&view=article&id=388:2011-houston-rodeo-breaks-attendance-record&catid=63:horse-racing&Itemid=181
  18. ^ "World's Championship Bar-B-Que Contest". Houston Livestock Show and Rodeo. HLSR. Retrieved 2007-06-16. 
  19. ^ "BBQ Teams". Houston Livestock Show and Rodeo. HLSR. Retrieved 2014-03-01. 
  20. ^ "World's Championship Bar-B-Que Contest Attendance Figures". Houston Livestock Show and Rodeo. HLSR. Retrieved 2014-03-01. 
  21. ^ Rodeo Houston Website
  22. ^ "Attendance History". Houston Livestock Show and Rodeo. Retrieved 2012-12-12. 
  23. ^ "HLSR Transportaion Options". Retrieved 2007-06-17. 
  24. ^ "Top 20 Paid Attendance Records Individual Performances". hlsr.com 6 March 2011. Last accessed 6 March 2011.
  25. ^ [3]. HLSR.com 18 March 2013. Last accessed 19 March 2013.
  26. ^ [4]. HLSR.com 18 March 2013. Last accessed 19 March 2013.
  27. ^ [5]. HLSR.com 18 March 2013. Last accessed 19 March 2013.
  28. ^ [6]. HLSR.com 17 March 2014. Last accessed 17 March 2014./
  29. ^ [7]. HLSR.com 18 March 2013. Last accessed 19 March 2013.
  30. ^ [8]. HLSR.com 17 March 2014. Last accessed 17 March 2014.
  31. ^ "RodeoHouston review: Bruno Mars". MSNBC.com 7 March 2013. Last accessed 7 March 2013.
  32. ^ [9]. HLSR.com 18 March 2014. Last accessed 18 March 2014.
  33. ^ Performances. HLSR.com 17 March 2014. Last accessed 17 March 2014.
  34. ^ [10]. HLSR.com 21 March 2014. Last accessed 21 March 2014.

External links[edit]

Coordinates: 29°41′5″N 95°24′39″W / 29.68472°N 95.41083°W / 29.68472; -95.41083