March here in Houston is Rodeo time. As a child I would look forward to Go Texan Day my mom would dress me in my best western wear with a red bandanna, cowboy boots, hat and denim. I would walk to school with my friends looking like something out of Lone Ranger we were excited, because we knew that once we got to class we would pick our partner to walk the block in a half down the street to watch the Trail Riders heading for Memorial Park. We would line up on the sidewalk holding our Texas Flags as the men and women would be on their horses along with wagons, they would make our day. We would head back to class for treats, punch and music. Even now I tear up when I am driving down the road on Go Texan Day and see the trail riders heading in and I still wave like the small schoolgirl with a smile and a flag. So for March I decided to share with everyone a little bit of Go Texan Day, my cowgirl is wearing her fancy boots and just waiting for the gambler to take her money. March is a busy time for me with working the Rodeo, Spring Break at the Geek Mecca (Austin) and Mardi Gras I am wiped out. I will have pictures up tomorrow of what the Rodeo looks like as I am working tonight Trace Adkins is the performer. So as with life my cowgirl is remembering the golden rule of Gambling---Know when to hold them, know when to fold them. Happy St. Patrick’s Day
Here is a brief history of The Houston Livestock Show and Rodeo:
The Houston Livestock Show and Rodeo, also called RodeoHouston, is the world's largest live entertainment and livestock exhibition. It also includes the richest regular-season PRCA rodeo event. It has been held at Reliant Stadium in Houston, Texas, since 2003. It was previously held in the Astrodome. Since its beginning in 1932, the Houston Livestock Show and Rodeo has committed more than $265 million to scholarships, research, endowments, calf scramble participants, junior show exhibitors, the Rodeo Institute for Teacher Excellence™, School Art participants, and other educational and youth programs. Of that total, the Show has committed more than $152 million in direct educational program support, since the first scholarship was awarded in 1957.
Because college is only a dream for so many students, the Show has made an extraordinary impact on the lives of countless young men and women in its quest to benefit the youth of Texas and support them through education. Currently, more than 2,000 students are on Show scholarships, attending more than 100 different Texas colleges and universities. The value of these scholarships is approximately $30 million.
All recipients of Houston Livestock Show and Rodeo scholarships must demonstrate academic potential, citizenship/leadership and financial need, and they must attend a Texas college or university.
The Houston Livestock Show is a volunteer driven organization, with committees heading up the different areas of the show. The make it possible for the large amount of the proceeds going to the scholarship funds.
The event is 20 days long. It is kicked off by the Downtown Rodeo parade and the World's Championship Bar-B-Que Contest. The Show features championship Rodeo action including bull riding, livestock judging, concerts, a carnival, pig racing, barbecue and shopping, sales and livestock auctions. Traditional trail rides, which start in different areas of Texas and end in Houston, precede the Rodeo events. The rodeo has drawn some of the world's biggest recording artists, including Elvis Presley, Bob Dylan, Brooks & Dunn, George Strait, Reba McEntire, Garth Brooks, Willie Nelson, Selena, Bon Jovi, Selena Gomez, Justin Bieber, Demi Lovato, Miley Cyrus, Jonas Brothers, ZZ Top and Lynyrd Skynyrd, among others.
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. 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
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.
- Salt Grass Trail Ride - 85-mile ride from Cat Spring, Texas
- Sam Houston Trail Ride - 66-mile ride from Montgomery, Texas
- Old Spanish Trail Ride - 216-mile ride from Logansport, Louisiana
- Prairie View Trail Ride - 102-mile ride from Sunnyside, Texas
- Valley Lodge Trail Ride - 72-mile ride from Brookshire, Texas
- The Spanish Trail Ride - 112-mile ride from Coldspring, Texas
- Texas Independence Trail Ride - 92-mile ride from Brazoria, Texas
- Los Vaqueros Rio Grande Trail Ride - 386-mile ride from Hidalgo, TexasSouthwestern Trail Ride - 100-mile ride from Brazoria, Texas
- Northeastern Trail Ride - 108-mile ride from Beaumont, Texas
- Texas Cattlemen’s Trail Ride - 85-mile ride from Anderson, Texas
- The Mission Trail Ride - 210-mile ride from San Antonio, Texas
- Southwest Trail Ride - 120-mile ride from Rosenberg, Texas