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Bucking Broncos and Deep Fried Oreos: The Houston Livestock Show and Rodeo!

- Emily

Hey!  I know I haven’t posted anything in a while and I’m sorry!  But this past Thursday, I went to the Houston Rodeo — the highlight of any country-lover’s spring break.  For those of you who are out of the Texas-loop, the rodeo consists of six key elements:  the food, the carnival, the shopping, the livestock, the rodeo, and the concert.  Some people go just for the concert – a different artist performs every night for three weeks. But I like to go for a whole day.

The food at the rodeo is unreal – you won’t believe your taste buds!  There are three food tents, under which are picnic tables and about 8 mini-restaurants per tent.  Major Houston-area restaurants set up shop at the rodeo for three weeks and battle for hungry customers to try their choice favorites.  I LOVED Goode Company’s brisket sandwich.  (Make sure you ask for sauce!)  For dessert, I had deep fried Oreos… my favorite!  They’re all over at the rodeo.  Here’s an insider’s tip – bring extra money for drinks since they range in price from $3.75-4.50 just for a bottle of water.

There's lots of fried food at the Rodeo...

The carnival is surprisingly good as my standards go.  There are two parts to the carnival, the “little-kid” side and the “adult” side, as my brother calls it.  He and I spent all of our tickets on the little-kid side before we realized the best attractions were on the other side of the Astrodome.  For many rides, there’s an identical one on the other side of the Astrodome, which divides the carnival in half, except just a  bigger and more exciting ride.  Also, the tickets are very expensive and disappear before your eyes!  My mom got coupon books for free drinks, tickets, and games online at the HLSR website.  (See bottom of article) They cost $10 per booklet, but are worth it if you’re going to the carnival.

Near the food tents is the Reliant Center, which holds hundreds of Texas (to be said with an accent) boutiques and all the ah-dorable animals.  If you’re looking for boots, an authentic cowboy hat, and a belt buckle the size of a small animal, then this is the place to be.  Also, there are the animals – rows and rows of cows, pigs, and rabbits ready for auction; all the animals were raised by Texas FFA kids.  I love the cows, because the owners decorate each animal’s spot with neat decorations – “Lady Gaga” the cow had her own dressing room-themed spot!  Another must-see is the Birthing Center, where all the baby animals are born.

The baby animals include calves, piglets, lambs, and chicks!

The Rodeo and the concert are together at the Reliant Stadium.  Your ticket for the Rodeo is also for the concert, because ten minutes after the rodeo ends – bam! — your favorite artist struts onto the 360o rotating stage singing your favorite song.  The Rodeo part, which lasts about two hours, has several different events, but the best one is the Calf Scramble, where 28 FFA kids from all over Texas scramble to catch a calf and drag it into the middle of the arena.  It’s hilarious! The artist, like I said, is different each night, so you can’t miss out – they range from Jason Aldean to the Zac Brown Band to the Black Eyed Peas. (The Rodeo isn’t just country stars.)

One event at the Rodeo is bareback riding! Ouch!

The Houston Livestock Show and Rodeo ended last Saturday, but next year it runs during the first three weeks of March.  Check it out next year, and you won’t be disappointed.

Greetings from Texas,

Emily

(If you want to check out the Rodeo next year, try these websites: http://www.hlsr.com/, http://www.visithoustontexas.com/)

For more Houston travels, read about the World Biggest Flower.

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