Houston is my hometown. It’s where I was born and raised. I love it with all my heart. The city is a giant melting pot and has one of the most vibrant arts and culture scenes in the country. The theatre district rivals New York City and there are more museums than you can imagine. The food is unparalleled. From globally acclaimed restaurants to authentic Tex-Mex, from food trucks to Chinatown – Houston will not leave you hungry. 

The fourth largest city in the U.S., there is always an exciting event going on. Bot nothing brings the city to life more than the annual Houston Livestock Show & Rodeo. To a native Houstonian, there are few phrases that incite excitement quite like, “HOU-STON. ARE. YOU. READY. TO. ROD-E-OOOOO” echoing through Reliant Stadium.

No questions asked, the rodeo is the best way to experience Houston. Here’s why:

1. Nothing says Texas like Mutton Bustin’ and Bull Riding.

When people outside the state think of Texas, most imagine traditional rodeo events. And they're quite the spectacle. Not only will you see bull riding, barrel racing, and chuck wagon racing, but you’ll also experience mutton bustin’ and the always exciting calf scramble. If you’ve never heard of those events, do yourself a favor and watch the videos below. Rest assured, the rodeo show will leave you with a taste of Texas traditions.

 Bull Riding  Image source

Bull Riding Image source

 Mutton Bustin  Image source

Mutton Bustin Image source

 Chuck Wagon Racing  Image source

Chuck Wagon Racing Image source

 Calf Scramble  Image source

Calf Scramble Image source

2. Fried Oreos (and other amazing foodS)

A ticket to the rodeo not only grants access to the stadium events, but it also admits you to the rodeo carnival. The carnival has many attractions from a ferris wheel to camel rides to a gondola (yes, a gondola in Houston!). However, the shining star of the rodeo carnival is actually the food. You can experience some of the best of Houston all at once. You can indulge in fried oreos, fried cookie dough, fried pickles -- just about anything you can imagine you'll find fried at the rodeo! In addition, you'll find the city’s go-to BBQ joints and famous Tex-Mex, allowing you to sample an array of flavors that make Houston a food mecca. Come hungry and you’ll leave happy!

 Photo by  Ed Uthman

Photo by Ed Uthman

3. Country Music

Each rodeo show ends with a concert – most from the nation’s top country music artists. Ending your night by listening to the likes of Brad Paisley will ensure you have a true Texas experience. (Tip: Make sure to check the entertainment lineup because there are a few nights with artists in other music genres).

4. Gorgeous Weather

The rodeo takes place during March every year, when temperatures are in the blissful 70s. It’s the perfect weather for enjoying the outdoor rodeo carnival, taking advantage of the cities abundance of parks, and eating al fresco at some of the best restaurants in the world. To top it all off, the city's many azalea bushes are in bloom during rodeo season, leaving the city bursting with spring colors.

The Houston Livestock Show & Rodeo is a once in a lifetime experience. So if Texas has always been on your bucket list, make your way down to Houston in March!

-Caroline