An abridged history of the Houston Livestock Show and Rodeo

An abridged history of the Houston Livestock Show and Rodeo

HOUSTON, TX — According to their official website, the Houston Livestock Show and Rodeo debuted in 1932. Since that start, Texas livestock, entertainment, and the timeless tradition of rodeo… have just never been the same in the great Lone Star State.

So, what exactly is the mission of the Houston Livestock Show and Rodeo?

Funnel cake.

While… also promoting Texas agriculture, and hosting, a family-friendly entertainment experience that educates the public, supports Texas youth and showcases the State’s traditional Western heritage.

Speaking of fried delicious things…. did you know? Back in 2019, over 376,000 Oreos were battered, fried, and dusted with battered sugar at the fair! No word yet though, on how many Diet Cokes were consumed along with them, the following weeks after.

Yes, from Molly Bee to Ashanti, the list of entertainers that have graced the main stage has certainly changed throughout the years. Just recently, in 2020, famed Tejano-singer, Selena, was inducted into their coveted, Star Trail of Fame.

With events like the World’s Championship Bar-B-Que Contest, to The Junction for kids, there truly is something
for everyone to enjoy.

In their last economic survey in 2019, it was found their total economic impact has brought in over $277 million for the city of Houston. Additionally, the yearly festivities have created 3,694 jobs for the city.

A Section 501(C)(3) charity as well, funds from the yearly tradition have gone towards supporting Texan youth, education, and helping agriculture facilities develop better practices through exhibitions and presentations.

“We committed $27 million to scholarships, junior show exhibitors, educational program grants, and graduate assistantships for 2020, which means that the Rodeo surpassed $500 million in our total commitment to youth and education since 1932.” wrote their former Chairman of the Board, Jim Winne.

With the 2021 rodeo canceled due to the ongoing pandemic, some may wonder, what exactly is next for this Texas cultural staple? Indeed, while this answer may depend on the success of COVID-19 vaccine distributions, one thing is for certain. Everything, even communities across the State, coming together, as they do for the Houston Livestock Show and Rodeo, is bigger, in Texas.


Brant Foy

Brant E. Foy is a reporter for Business Journal.  He has previously worked for the Waco Star Journal.  As a contributor to Business Journal, Brant covers emerging business developments, legal and trending technology related stories.