Houston Livestock Show and Rodeo Returns

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Houston Livestock Show and Rodeo Returns

Jordan Matejowsky

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The Houston Livestock Show and Rodeo, also known as the HLSR, has been an annual part of Houston’s life for 87 years now. Every year it brings Houstonians and people from all over to participate in the carnivals, livestock shows, and concerts. It was organized for charitable, educational and scientific purposes.

The HLSR is the world’s largest livestock show and rodeo, attracting over 2.5 million people in 2019. Every year they have a carnival which has something for everyone, livestock shows, a rodeo, and at least 20 concerts from top entertainers, all drawing huge crowds.

“Though the Houston Livestock Show and Rodeo remains deeply rooted in country music, we are also proud to be a part of our wonderfully diverse community,” said Rodeo president and CEO Joel Cowley. “We are excited to present a wonderfully diverse and talented 2019 lineup that will welcome 12 newcomers to the rotating stage.”  

More than 34,000 people volunteer every year, helping to make the HLSR a success. There are people from all walks of life volunteering, from doctors to teachers to farmers. There is even a waiting list to become a volunteer.

“It’s so rewarding when you see the face of a kid seeing a baby pig or a baby sheep being born,” HLSR volunteer Shari Reed stated. “It’s just amazing to be a part of that.”

Another volunteer, Darrell H. agreed, saying, “I volunteer because of the children. To see the faces of the children when they learn about animals and where our food comes from is priceless.”

The Houston Livestock Show and Rodeo is not just about having fun, however. Each year more than 800 scholarships are awarded to Texas students. In addition to scholarships, the HLSR also gives out educational grants to charities and organizations which support education and/or agriculture, and honor the pioneer spirit. The HLSR has given out more than 450 million dollars to the youth of Texas since 1932.

“You have given me more than just the means to pursue my degree. You have given me inspiration,” 2015 scholarship recipient Jocelyn V. said.

All in all, the Houston Livestock Show and Rodeo is much, much more than just a livestock show, or a rodeo with cowboys, exhibitions, a carnival, or even a great singer putting on a fantastic show for thousands. It is more than a place for kids to gain knowledge and confidence, to show what they know and be proud of who they are, and maybe even earn a scholarship. The Houston Livestock Show and Rodeo is a part of our culture and tradition in Southeast Texas. And in the words of Joel Cowley, “A good old rodeo never hurt anyone.”