Feb 28, 2023 - Things to Do

Your guide to the Houston Livestock Show and Rodeo

horses running in an arena

Who's ready to run to the rodeo? Photo: Xu Jianmei/Xinhua via Getty Images

Shine your boots, Houston. The Houston Livestock Show and Rodeo officially kicks off Tuesday.

Driving the news: Millions of spectators are expected to flock to NRG Park for the spectacle's slate of concerts, the fun of the carnival and, of course, the bucking rodeo itself.

Why it matters: The annual event becomes the center of the Houston universe for three weeks.

By the numbers: In 2019 — the year before the pandemic interrupted the festivities — the rodeo generated $227 million in economic impact.

  • The rodeo set an attendance record in 2017 both for single-day attendance (185,667) and overall attendance (2.6 million).
  • The rodeo has presold more than 67,000 tickets for its opening-night performance this year by Parker McCollum.

Flashback: The rodeo shut down early in 2020 and was canceled in 2021 because of the pandemic.

  • Since 2013, rodeo attendance has waned between 2.4 million and 2.5 million each year — save for 2020 and 2021.
  • It rebounded in 2022 with 2.4 million people attending.

What they're saying: "Our presales have been outstanding," RodeoHouston president and CEO Chris Boleman told Axios. "When we look at the numbers and compare them year to year, we definitely had a lot more presold than what we've had previously."

  • "Line that up with the weather, and it certainly looks like we're going to have a great year," Boleman said.

What to do: Aside from the main-event concert lineup, there's plenty to do and see.

  • Plus, therapeutic riding and other events for those with special needs.

What's new: The women's breakaway roping event will be held nightly for the first time.

  • The carnival also has new rides, including the high-speed Raptor Coaster and the family-friendly Sea Ray.
  • Plus: Look for new food, games and retailers.

Auctions on a variety of livestock will be held throughout the week, rounding out with the steer auction at 11am March 18.

  • Last year's grand champion steer garnered a record-breaking $1 million.

Special days:

If you go: Tickets are still available online, starting at $25.


Get more local stories in your inbox with Axios Houston.


Support local journalism by becoming a member.

Learn more

More Houston stories

No stories could be found


Get a free daily digest of the most important news in your backyard with Axios Houston.


Support local journalism by becoming a member.

Learn more