January 21, 2016
Saddle up partner, and hit the trail headed for the nearest stock show and rodeo! It's Rodeo Time in Texas wrangler and you can catch some of the best action at stops all across Texas. Cowboy up! Move those 'doggies' down the road and head straight to the show barn and rodeo arena...
"Yee-haw!" It's rodeo time in Texas, and that means a time to get out your best hat and pair of boots and 'go western' for the season.
From professional cowboys, trainers, handlers, barrel runners and rodeo clowns to drug store varieties, dime-store wranglers and everything in-between, late winter and early spring is the time Texas showcases its western and ranch heritage. From the biggest arena events to the smallest rural rodeo, home folks and visitors alike are streaming to stock shows and rodeos in just about every corner of the Lone Star State.
Some of the biggest shows are already underway, like the Fort Worth Stock Show and Rodeo (Jan 15-Feb 6). Quick to follow are the San Antonio Livestock Exposition (Feb 11-28) and the Houston Livestock Show and Rodeo (Mar 1-20).
Other notable stock show and rodeo events include:
The Heart of Texas Fair and Rodeo
Hill Country District (Kerrville) Livestock Show
Rio Grande Valley Livestock Show
San Angelo Livestock Show and Rodeo
Sandhills (Odessa) Livestock Show
Star of Texas Livestock Show and Rodeo
And later in the fall, the State Fair of Texas
There are also heritage rodeo events and special stock shows staged across the state, like the Mesquite Pro Rodeo, the West of the Pecos Rodeo, Hearts on Fire Bull Riding in Belton, Youth of Texas Rodeo in Huntsville, the Rancho Del Sol Ranch Rodeo in DeKalb, Heritage Day Rodeo in Humble, the Annual Bulls & Broncs Shootout in Dublin (Texas), Spring Break Rodeo in Egypt (Texas), the Easter Sunday Open Rodeo in Kendleton, Our Mother of Mercy Easter Trailride and Rodeo in Liberty, the Cowgirls Do It Better All Ladies Rodeo in Raywood, and - well you get it. Hundreds of more. Yes, hundreds.
So what's the big deal about animal shows and rodeos?
It's the history, the heritage heritage and the tradition of the Old West that brings just about every native born Texans to at least one or a dozen livestock shows and/or rodeos in our lifetime. No doubt there are prominent DNA markers in every native Texan that makes them feel "at home and comfortable" in the environment of an earth-animal-mankind relationship. For those of you that know what I am talking about, it's that feeling of digging in soft, loamy soil after tilling the garden or preparing the landscape beds; the sense of companionship you feel when you climb in the saddle of a magnificent equine and immediately start looking for the sundown on the horizon.
To "rodeo ip" in Texas is like taking a journey back to the past of our forefathers and mothers who lived simpler if not harsher lives depending on the soil to bear us fruit and vegetable and livestock or wild game to feed our need for protein and fats that energize us to working unending hours tilling the ground or gathering the harvest or caring for the animals give us milk and meat and responsibility and purpose.
Or maybe I'm over-thinking it and it is nothing more than the allure of adventure, the call of the wild, that tempts us to dare live, or pretend to live, the exciting life of a rodeo star, or to show off an award winning-animal we had raised from birth. Maybe it's nothing more than a curiosity about Texans affinity for the golden days of the old west?
The truth is, no one probably knows why stock shows and rodeos are so popular in Texas, or in other Southwest, Midwest and Western States. It just is. And while lately there seems to be a growing number of people that say the charm of western events are fading and that one day soon will be nothing more than a memory from the past, in Texas at least, that's not likely to happen.
Each year millions flock to western-themed events within the state, from farmer's markets to calf-roping events to western art shows to tractor pulls and food festivals. The overwhelming volume of heritage-related events and activities across the state are mind-boggling, and considerably the growing crowds each year, they are not going away anytime soon!
So cast off your doubts and inhibitions and dust off those old boots or bolo ties and get ready to enjoy the rodeos and fairs and stock show exhibitions waiting for your attendance and play like a cowboy for a day, a week or a season. It's simply a Texas thing to do, and the truth is, there are lot fewer cowboys that go the stock shows and rodeos than there are just everyday Texans, many of them live in the heart of cities and urban areas.
To rodeo is to be a Texan! So saddle up and cowboy up the nearest rodeo arena and celebrate one great Texas heritage!