Rice University’s Student Newspaper — Since 1916

Sunday, May 19, 2024 — Houston, TX

Saddle up for the Houston Rodeo

Bryan Mendoza / Thresher

By Kristal Hanson     3/5/24 10:12pm

Grab your cowboy boots and saddle up — the Houston Livestock Show and Rodeo is back for 20 days of action. From Feb. 27 to March 17, the rodeo will transform NRG Park into a yee hawin’ haven of competition, food and music. All it takes is a short ride on the Metro to pop that Rice bubble and experience what Houston has to offer. 


If you missed out on snagging a free ticket from the Rice Program Council, try your luck getting a free unclaimed RPC ticket Friday, March 8 from noon to 1 p.m. in front of the Rice Memorial Center’s Grand Hall. Tickets to the grounds start at $20. If you’re aiming for the full rodeo experience, including the heart-pounding events and musical entertainment, you’ll need to pony up at least $25.


This super series tournament-style competition features riding, wrestling, roping and racing of horses and livestock. Make sure to catch the ultimate challenge, the Mutton Bustin’, where kiddos are placed on a sheep that shakes them off. In addition to classic rodeo events, you can visit the rodeo version of a science fair. Take a gander through a petting zoo, a miniature livestock exhibition called “We’re Small Y’all Barn,” a birthing center and udderly exciting live demonstrations of milking at the “Milking Parlor.”


The rodeo has a star-studded and genre-spanning lineup of artists to perform in the NRG stadium including pop, country, hip-hop, EDM, Latin and rock artists. Luke Bryan, the man behind country hits like “Country Girl (Shake It For Me)” and “Play It Again,” takes the stage on March 7. If country isn’t your style, EDM artist Major Lazer will perform March 8 and Nickelback, a Canadian rock band with hits like “How You Remind Me” and “Rockstar,” will be on stage March 13, two days before The Jonas Brothers play (and are sure to pack the stadium with millennials). The rodeo then returns to its roots, with country legend Eric Church closing the festivities on March 17. 


If you’re tired of the same servery food, the rodeo’s got your taste buds covered. Loosen your belt buckle for pickled pizza on a stick from Swain’s Pizza on a Stick, deep fried bread pudding from Cajun Cowboy or deep fried chicken donut sandwiches from Get Fried. Anything is carnival food when it is on a stick or deep fried, ideally both. Of course, classic southern eats like brisket and burgers are also on the menu — after all, the rodeo hosts the World’s Championship Bar-B-Que Contest. 

More from The Rice Thresher

A&E 4/21/24 11:51pm
Jeremy Zucker is no longer a ‘sad-boy troubadour’

Jeremy Zucker’s arms, like most of his body, host a scrapbook of tattoos — a faded clementine peel, his childhood pets (Rusty and Susie), a Pinterest doodle of Sonic the Hedgehog with a bouquet of flowers. His middle finger is etched with a single tooth, hanging off a thin branch wrapping around the rest of his hand.

A&E 4/17/24 12:00am
Super Smash Bros. ultimate tournament sees smashing success

The Super Smash Bros. Club held their second annual ultimate tournament Friday, April 12. Club president Jashun Paluru said all Smash players were welcome, regardless of ability, experience or involvement in the club. The event was held in collaboration with Owls After Dark, a late-night activity series headed by the Rice Student Center, at the Rice Memorial Center’s Grand Hall.

A&E 4/16/24 11:07pm
Tribute band ‘Suede Hedgehog’ talks inspirations, legacies

Last Thursday, the halls of the RMC were graced with smooth melodies and funky grooves courtesy of “Suede Hedgehog,” Rice’s very own tribute band to “Silk Sonic,” a musical duo made up of Bruno Mars and Anderson .Paak. Although the tiny desk concert only lasted about 20 minutes the atmosphere was electric, and Coffeehouse — their venue — was packed with listeners.


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