Houston is gearing up for one of the most talked about events of the year- the Houston Livestock Show and Rodeo (HLSR) which kicks off March 1st! As a Houstonian and volunteer for HLSR, here are some insider secrets you should know about before #RodeoHouston kicks off:
- The concert line-up is announced in early January. Go out and get your Rodeo Houston concert tickets before they are sold out if they aren’t already. Typical weekday shows start around 6:30 p.m. and end around 11:00 p.m. On weekends, they begin around 3:30 p.m. Check out Value Wednesday/Armed Forces’ Day (March 2nd) and First Responders’ Day (March 1st) too!
- You need a map of the Rodeo Houston complex so that you know where to park and what exits to take to get to the grounds. The Yellow Lot is my favorite to park in because it is easiest to get in and out of, especially when there are 150,000 patrons attending the events on a given day. The Transportation Committee volunteers run mini-trams and golf carts to the stadium, so you don’t have to walk if you don’t want to.
If you are getting to the grounds late, you will most likely only be able to park in the Pink Lot (formerly known as Astro World parking) since the others may be full. There are pedestrian bridges that cross 610 to go to the Pink Lot and Kirby to go to the Yellow Lot, so you never have to wait to cross a busy road. The Orange area on the map is where the Petting Zoo and Carnival are located (Orange Lot). The Hideout is being moved from inside the carnival to the Blue Lot in front of the Arena this year, so there is a bit of insider news for you rodeo fans.
- There are over 32,000 volunteers that serve on over 100 different committees for one of the world’s largest volunteer events. I am one of them and I love it! I do it because it keeps the cost of the rodeo affordable for families and profits go to Texas youth for scholarships. You meet tons of amazing people and get to park and go to shows for free. Become a Rodeo Houston volunteer today!
- Proceeds from the Houston Rodeo go to scholarships, grants, and assistantships for Texas youth. In our last volunteer meeting, we learned that over $400 million has been committed to support the education quest of our future leaders. So when you are going to the rodeo and see a volunteer, thank them for their services because they are out working for free and ensuring the safety of millions of guests that come out to experience the many activities and events at the Houston Livestock Show and Rodeo.
- You must have a turkey leg, fried Oreo, and chocolate-covered bacon! I have also discovered savory treats like fried cookie dough on a stick, chicken-fried bacon, banana split funnel cake, fried Sriracha balls, and ice cream filled cupcakes. You name it or fry it, and the rodeo has it!
Mouth-watering photo is courtesy of the Houston Chronicle
- If you want a killer shopping experience, check out the NRG Center. NRG Arena houses all horse shows, and there is some spectacular shopping there as well. Get a new belt buckle, purse, boots, or even art décor for your home. TIP: The Blue and Pink lots will be the best to park in if you are headed to NRG Arena.
- Uber, Taxi, Metro Rail, or DD if you can ABC13.com reports that a ‘no refusal’ is underway as the festivities begin with the BBQ cook off on February 25th. They also report that, “70 people were arrested for DWI last year during the rodeo season…Nine people were killed in alcohol-related crashes.” So please, be safe and plan ahead. If you live in one of our Midtown Houston apartments we recommend you take advantage of the Metro Rail to get to the Rodeo.
By Chelsea Isaacson. Chelsea is a former English teacher who drank the Camden kool-aid and has been a Camden Trainer for almost 3 years. She loves her fur-babies + future hubby, traveling, volunteering at the Houston Rodeo and with local pet shelters, and spending time with family.