Click here for updates on the evolving COVID-19 situation at Rice
Rice University’s Student Newspaper — Since 1916

Sunday, January 23, 2022 — Houston, TX °

Rodeo Houston 2019: Who to see, what to eat

Illustrated by Esther Tang

By Christina Tan     2/26/19 9:33pm

Fried bacon-wrapped cinnamon rolls, “minnepumpkin” pie, a $2.17 million prize pool — who says Texans don’t have culture? It’s time to put on newly-bought cowboy boots and sweat in jeans because the Houston Rodeo is in town. A conglomeration of carnival, cowboy sport and musical performances, the three-week-long Houston Rodeo is a spring must-go for both native Texans and wanna-be Texans alike. 


Unfortunately, if you’re reading this you’re too late — recent Grammy Award winner Kacey Musgraves performed on Monday. But Musgraves leads a star-studded music lineup, which includes authentic country artist Chris Stapleton, country/pop artist Brad Paisley, electronic dance music artist Zedd and hip-hop artist Cardi B. All performances are in the stadium itself and vary in cost depending on which seat you want — nosebleed seats usually cost around $20. Weekday performances start at 8:45 p.m. and weekend performances typically start at 5:45 p.m.


In addition to musical performances, the rodeo offers a different type of show: two cowboy-style shows, where competitors lasso, ride and trap their way to a $2.17 million prize pool. These shows are the Super Series and the Super Shootout, both of which include events like bareback riding, saddle bronc riding and barrel racing. Access to the shows is included in the sticker price for musical performances, but must be purchased in addition to grounds tickets (if you’re not seeing a musical performance). Get there early to see the grand entry and the national anthem salute, both of which include fireworks, color and much fanfare.

Grounds tickets are standard entrance, and give access to the carnival aspect of the rodeo. Hosted on the grounds outside of NRG stadium, the carnival includes rides, food and mini-cowboy shows: think little children trying their best to hang onto sheep. However, the rodeo ain’t cheap — within the grounds, you must purchase separate tickets to buy food and access rides. A notable ride is the Ferris Wheel at night, which provides a scenic view of the entire rodeo.

In addition to the carnival, grounds access also includes the livestock show and birthing center. You can watch farm animals give birth — weird, but if you want to call yourself an authentic Texan, you gotta do what you gotta do.


On the grounds, you can access a blissful amount of fried food. From fried butter to fried Nutella to fried Pop Tarts, prepare your arteries for crunchy, oily goodness (my favorite are the fried Oreos, a rodeo staple). The prices are admittedly steep, but the experience is unique. If you didn’t get a taste of turkey leg at North Servery, be sure to cop one of these monsters to bring around on your rodeo adventures — but find someone to share it with, as they tip the scale at 1.5 pounds.


The weather is perfect to go in full yeehaw outfit — any later, and your denim will be drenched in sweat. To get to the rodeo, take the METRORail to the Stadium Park/Astrodome stop and get off right outside of the grounds. Alternatively, an Uber/Lyft will run you around $10. Tickets cost $15 for general grounds entry and an extra $20 or more for musical performance/rodeo entry. Keep an eye out for “Family Wednesdays,” which include $2 rides, games and food from 11 a.m. - 4 p.m.

The Houston Rodeo continues until March 17 and is located at NRG Park and Stadium.

More from The Rice Thresher

A&E 1/18/22 11:39pm
Review: FKA Twigs showcases dazzling candy-pop on ‘Caprisongs’

“Hey, I made you a mixtape / Because when I feel you, I feel me / And when I feel me, it feels good,” breathes FKA Twigs in “ride the dragon,” the first track on her latest album, “CAPRISONGS.” Released on Jan. 14, “CAPRISONGS” is a love letter to friendship, music, adventure, collaboration and, most of all, to Twigs herself. A drastic departure from the divine, heartrending emotion of “MAGDALENE,” its follow-up is a blitzy, feature-filled mirage of candied pop. Described by Twigs as “bronzer in the sink, alco pop on the side, a cherry lolly… a club pre-game, meeting a friend at the airport, just togetherness,” the album is studded with plastic rhinestones. Though “CAPRISONGS” sporadically falls prey to underdeveloped interludes and forgettable songs, its otherworldly synth frenzy renders it a respectable recovery mixtape. 

A&E 1/18/22 11:35pm
Review: Hanya Yanagihara’s 'To Paradise' — It took me there

The first man will never have to work in his life, in fact he is so wealthy he can leave everything to chase love. The second man is a broke paralegal who fled from his homeland and is now dating his wealthy boss. The third is a successful virologist, whose very success has trapped him instead of freeing him.

A&E 1/18/22 11:30pm
Review: Earl Sweatshirt embraces lush production and a newfound openness on ‘SICK!’

Earl Sweatshirt’s “SICK!” sees him use his shortcomings as fuel for a personal rebirth and desire for self-improvement. A lot has changed for Earl since his 2019 EP, “FEET OF CLAY.” At that time, he had been struggling with alcohol addiction and “an endless loop of self-harm and isolation.” Now, he has been working towards recovery by reducing alcohol and drug use while trying to be a good father to his young son.


Please note All comments are eligible for publication by The Rice Thresher.