Sunday, March 13, 2011

Houston Livestock Show & Rodeo 2011

This is gonna be a really long post. I took about 3 bajillion photos at the rodeo, and I just couldn't make myself narrow them down because I really wanted to share ALL of the rodeo with you! Haha.

The Houston Livestock Show & Rodeo happens every spring, and it's seriously SO, SO fun! Cowboys from around the continent come to compete, music artists from around the country come to perform, and people from all around come to experience the fun!

Jeff came home from work a little early on Friday, and we put on our Western shirts, jeans, and boots and headed to the rodeo! First, we went to the giant exhibit hall.

We got to see lots of animals...

This guy needs a haircut.

GIANT bunny!

My favorite part of the whole entire rodeo is the baby animal "Birthing Center"...

This board announces all the baby animal births!

They have cows...

A very pregnant cow.

Baby calf!

They have pigs...

Eeee little piggy legs! SO cute!

They have sheep...

Lambs like to cuddle.

My second-favorite part is the chicken exhibit. You get to see chickens at various stages of their life cycle and it's just so amazing!

Grown-up chickens.

Baby chicks!

This guy was very interested in my camera!

I watched this next little guy for a good five minutes while he struggled to get out of his shell, finally made it, and then got stuck on his back. SO adorable!

This next one was just starting to crack open his egg... he's got a long day ahead of him!

I just love all the animals and stuff. Something about walking around on dirt-covered floors in boots is just so satisfying! I love it.

The exhibit center also has a ton of vendors that come to sell stuff. Stuff like mattresses. And cars. 

Fancy Texan truck!

I want one of these. So, so bad. Anyone want to buy me a Camaro? Haha.

They have tractors and horse trailers and all kinds of Texas-y stuff too.

You can buy cowhide rugs...

And cowgirl bling belts and jewelry...

And fun western stuff for your home...

You can even have your handwriting analyzed! Haha.

Or you can get an aqua massage!

We walked around for a while and looked at boots, cowboy hats, etc., and then it was time for food! There's a ton of great food at the rodeo... from giant turkey legs to roasted corn on the cob - it's all delicious. Since it was a Friday, we joined the big crowd of other Catholic people and seafood-lovers at the fried seafood booth:

We shared a big basket of fried catfish, shrimp, and crawfish. Yum!

Then it was time for the RODEO!! Into Reliant Stadium we went...

We took a look at the cowboys and cowgirls who would be competing that night...

And then we watched the rodeo events! There's Team Roping, aka "two guys ride two horses and chase a calf and one has to lasso his head and the other has to lasso his legs."

There's Saddle Bronc Riding, aka "ride a crazy horse as well as you can and don't fall off."

There's Steer Wrestling, aka "Jump off your horse and grab the cow by his head and pull him down as fast as you can."

And then theres Bull Riding, aka "a good way to end up knocked out and/or smushed." When you go to the rodeo every year you start to remember the cowboys. They're like famous athletes. Tag Elliot is one of my favorites.

They have "rodeo clowns," whose sole purpose is to distract the bull after the cowboy falls off and prevent the bull from attacking the cowboy. Tough job.

After all the cowboy stuff is done, there are a few random unofficial events. Like the chuck wagon races. Everyone in the audience picks a wagon, and you cheer for your wagon to win the race!

Then there's the calf scramble, where a bunch of FFA/4H kids run after a herd of calves and try to catch them. They have to put a halter around their heads and lead them back to the center of the arena to win.

Then there's my favorite - Mutton Bustin! They take a bunch of really little kids, bundle them up in protective gear, put them on a sheep, and tell them to hold on as long as they can. The kid who holds on the longest with the best form wins! Haha. It's amazing. There's nothing in the entire world quite like mutton bustin. I didn't take any photos because I was so fascinated just watching, but here's a photo someone else took:

The last event is when the cowgirls get their turn - Barrel Racing, aka "make your horse run around these three barrels as fast as you can!"

After the rodeo events were over, it was time for Lady Antebellum! There's a different artist every night at the rodeo, and they do mini-concerts that are about an hour long. They kick it off with flashy lights and fireworks!

Lady A was so, so good live! I was seriously impressed. They sounded even better than they do on the CDs. 

After the concert was done, we headed over to the carnival area. We skipped all the carnival rides and games and headed straight for our favorite booth at the rodeo... the one where you can buy DEEP FRIED OREOS!! 

Deep fried oreos & deep fried cookie dough on a stick.

You have not lived until you've eaten a deep fried oreo. They're just delicious. We tried the cookie dough as well this year, and it was okay, but oh my goodness... the Oreos are amazing.

So excited!


And then, with our bellies full of so-not-good-for-you food, we headed back home. See you next year, rodeo! 

Feel free to scroll back up and look at the baby animals. You know you want to. Or go look at that photo of the mutton bustin kid again. Hilarious!


  1. Those piggies are absolutely adorable. I'd like to bring one home for sure!

  2. i love all the pictures! looks like so much fun. my sister lives in houston and goes every year but i've never gone. thanks for sharing!!!

  3. WOW this looks like an amazing weekend! How fun!

  4. I went on Saturday and saw all of the baby animals! I loved it.

    I have not tried a fried oreo yet...I've been curious. I ate about 23 corndogs though. Lol.

  5. I was there that night too, and it was so much fun!

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