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Rodeo Tips

A Guide to Visiting the Rodeo

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Garth Brooks sang about it, Luke Perry starred in a movie about it, and Texas deemed it the state sport. Rodeos have been around since the mid to late 1800s, and while they’ve changed a good deal since those days, the excitement and entertainment is just as good today as it was then. If, however, you can’t throw down the well-worn saying “this ain’t my first rodeo,” here are a few rodeo tips you might want to know before you go.

4 Helpful Rodeo Tips

Rodeo Tickets

While sitting next to the arena will put you in the throws of the action, don’t worry about it if your budget lands you higher up. A birds-eye view allows you to see everything that’s going on, and everybody knows the party really happens in the cheap seats!

Rodeo Events

While events can vary from one rodeo to the next, there are a few that are common to most. Calf roping, team roping, steer wrestling, barrel racing, bareback, saddle bronc, and bull riding are the main staples. Mutton bustin’ and chuck wagon races are not as common but are among my favorite events. Usually the announcers will clue you in on the basics of each event. Whether you understand the details or not, though, cheering the competitors on makes it all the more fun. And don’t feel bad about cheering for the stock; they’re usually on the overall winning team, anyway.

Grand Entry

Don’t be late to the rodeo! The Grand Entry is a patriotic kick-off to the rodeo which may last a few minutes with a lone rider carrying a flag while the national anthem plays, or it could last significantly longer with dignitaries parading in on horses and in wagons. At some of the bigger rodeos, fireworks are even part of this exciting opening.

Where to See a Texas Rodeo

Rodeos can be stand-alone events held in a small-town, open arena or major productions that bring people from around the country and even the world. Two of my favorite rodeos are the Fort Worth Stock Show & Rodeo and the Houston Livestock Show & Rodeo. These two events bring together kids who have spent the year raising livestock, exhibitors showcasing their latest products, midway carnival rides, entertainment, food, and more. If you are going to a major rodeo like one of these, make sure you come a few hours early to take in the fun before the rodeo begins.

If you haven’t been to a rodeo before, grab your boots and hat and find one to try out. You just might find yourself hoopin’ and hollerin’ and having a good ol’ time!

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