What began in 1938 as a stock show is now one of Austin’s premier events and it’s about to happen in 11 days. That’s right folks, Rodeo Austin is back with ProRodeo, daily concerts, a world class livestock show, an amazing fair, delicious grub and much more.
The official rodeo dates are March 14-28, but the fun starts early — like literally early, 6:00 am — with the Cowboy Breakfast on March 6 at Long Center. This is a free event with mouth-watering pancakes and biscuits, western-themed entertainment, live music and, of course, two-stepping lessons.
A rodeo in Austin just wouldn’t be complete without Willie Nelson, so Willie is kicking-off the fun with a concert on March 14 after the ProRodeo, which is one of the top 10 in America. The headliners for the rest of the week include Dwight Yoakam, Eli Young Band, Panic! at the Disco, Beach Boys, Boyz II Men (yes, that just happened!), Martina McBride, Lee Brice and Kevin Fowler. And those are just some of the headliners. The KASE/KVET stage will be churning out tunes daily, so check the schedule for more info.
The rodeo will welcome top athletes from around the nation who are competing for the title of “Champion.” The exciting competitions includes bareback riding, steer wrestling, team roping, saddle bronc riding, tie-down roping, barrel racing, bull riding, bull fighting and the fan-fave, mutton bustin’ where aspiring cowboys and cowgirls get to bust out of the chute on a — wait for it — wooly sheep.
The fair opens at 10:00 am daily and it boasts one of Austin’s biggest carnivals with rides, games, shopping, plenty of tasty and fried-on-a-stick goodies, shows and special attractions. Many of the rides and games are small, especially for little buckaroos, so there’s something fun for kids of all ages. You can’t miss out on the Swifty Swine Pig Races at Rockin’ A Ranch or K9 Kings with their rescue dog Frisbee tricks.
Exhibitors from all parts of the United States travel to Texas to show their animals at the Rodeo Austin stock show. The events hosts 15 different livestock and horse shows with plenty of competition in the junior divisions as well. It’s the 8th largest Junior Livestock Show in North America with more than 6,000 youngsters hoping to earn a spot in the Youth Auction. You can catch the show remotely on RA TV—Rodeo Austin’s very own live stream or check out some of the award-winning animals in-person at Avenue of Breeds display in the Show Barn.
One of the most important things about Rodeo Austin is its commitment to raising funds for the Scholarship Program. Since its inception in 1981, Rodeo Austin has awarded more than $6.5 million in college scholarships making it one of Central Texas’ largest non-profit scholarship providers. By partnering with Texas colleges and universities, 4-H and FFA Foundations, Rodeo Austin works year-round to make sure deserving students get the support they need to thrive.
Flickr Creative Commons Image by Luciemac