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Texas Events & Festivals
Year Round Fun
Abilene isn’t known as a party town, but it sure knows how to a couple times a year. Don’t miss the 10-day West Texas Fair & Rodeo in mid-September – yielding exhibits, rides, food, and the history of western Texas. A similar event for spring visitors is the Western Heritage Classic each May, boasting food, live cowboy poetry readings, a Western art showcase, and of course, a rodeo.
Other events in Abilene include the Abilene Gem & Mineral Show, the West Texas Book & Music Festival, the Abilene Gun & Knife Show, and the monthly Abilene Artwalk on the second Thursday of the month.
Set in the Live Music Capital of the World, the South By Southwest Music Conference & Festival is an annual event at the Austin Convention Center in Austin. Over the years, the increased interest in film and tech companies influenced the festival, adding additional components to the mix.
More than 30,000 registrants are expected to attend the live music performances, plus film and tech events. The four-day Trade Show gives visitors an opportunity to meet and talk to leaders in the music, technology, and film industries.
The Block Party and SX saloon are just some of the many venues.
Check out the Next Stage, where panelists, comedians, musicians, and filmmakers show a sample of what's to expect during SXSWeek®. Schedule plenty of time to attend the variety of events in this premier Austin event.
If you've missed the South By Southwest Music Festival, you're certainly not out of luck. Austin is teeming with music venues and live shows. Just walk around the Sixth Street District and keep an ear out for live music.
Exceptional Rodeo Experiences
We all know this isn’t your first rodeo – and even if it were, a Texas rodeo is the place to start. From the capital city of Austin to the San Antonio Stock Show & Rodeo, the Lone Star State is certainly the king of the hill when it comes to rodeos.
San Antonio Rodeos
One of the top five PRCA rodeos in the country, the San Antonio Stock Show & Rodeo has been entertaining rodeo fans since 1950. Head to River City in February for livestock and horse shows, live music, art shows, BBQ, and one fantastic rodeo.
Head to the AT&T Center in downtown San Antonio for one of the best PRCA rodeos in Texas – right there in Alamo City. Check out the bareback riding event, along with steer wrestling, team roping and bull riding. Stick around for barrel racing and saddle bronc riding. Then check out the kid-friendly competitions like the Calf Scramble and the Mutton Bustin’ event.
Don’t miss San Antonio Stock Show & Rodeo annual events like the BBQ Cookoff & Concert, and the Wine Competition. Get fancied up for the Let’s Rodeo Ball in the Exposition Center, and be sure to catch the Texas Longhorn Cattle Drive – a longhorn parade ride through San Antonio. Between the cattle roping and cattle drives, the San Antonio Stock Show & Rodeo is an event you won’t want to miss.
Want to see the West get Weird? Head to Austin for the Rodeo Austin Star of Texas Fair & Rodeo in March. A pride of Austin since 1938, the Star of Texas Fair & Rodeo promotes agricultural education as well as live music, family fun, and of course, the best rodeo Capital City has to offer.
Rodeo Austin is the 6th largest indoor, regular season professional show – complete with riding, roping and racing – right in the heart of Austin. Check out the thrilling Bareback Riding Competition, cover your eyes during the Steer Wrestling Event, or cheer on your favorite cowboy during the Tie-Down Roping Contest. Watch the girls do their stuff during the Barrel Racing events, and check out other shows like Team Roping, Saddle Bronc Riding and of course, Bull Riding.
Kids love the rodeo clowns of the Pro Rodeo, as well as Kidstown and the Swifty Swine Pig Races at the Travis County Exposition Center. Hungry? Catch the BBQ Cook-off, the Cowboy Breakfast or head to Bullet Proof – a watering hole complete with BBQ, live music and a sturdy dance floor. During your time at Rodeo Austin, visit the Eco Art Youth Recycling Contest, the Youth Western Art Show, and the annual Book Pre-Sale – then head to the main stage for famed headliners in country and rock.
There’s always something to do in the Live Music Capital of the World – but especially in March for the Rodeo Austin Star of Texas Fair & Rodeo.
For a real Texas-sized rodeo, there’s no better show than the Houston Livestock Show & Rodeo. Also dubbed RodeoHouston, this show is the biggest livestock exhibition and rodeo on the globe.
The Houston Livestock Show & Rodeo – is held at the Reliant Stadium in late February or early March. This 20-day festival has everything from the World’s Championship BBQ Contest to the downtown Rodeo parade in central Houston. Take advantage of preliminary events like Go Texan Day – where everyone in town breaks out their best Old West ensemble – and east Texas trail rides leading to the Houston Livestock Show & Rodeo.
Other events include the Rodeo Uncorked! Wine Show, Sheep Dog Trials and the Top Hands Horse Show.
RodeoHouston – holding title as the world’s largest rodeo – include events like the Super Cinch Shootout and the RodeoHouston BP Super Series. For the kids, check out the Mutton Bustin’ event, as well as Calf Scrambling and Lil’ Rustlers Rodeo.
Music is a huge part of the Houston Livestock Show & Rodeo, formally headlined by Willie Nelson, Lynyrd Skynyrd, and even Elvis Presley. See who’s on the Entertainer Lineup, or check out some impressive local music in The Hideout at the Reliant Astrodome. Thanks to music and mutton bustin’, there’s never a dull moment at the Houston Livestock Show & Rodeo.
Heading to Dallas this fall? Don’t miss the annual State Fair of Texas from late September through October. Make your way to the 277-acre famed Fair Park – home to the biggest Ferris wheel in North America, and Big Tex, the 52-foot smiling cowboy. Check out the century-old auto show, a college football game, and especially, the Livestock Show & Auction.
Don’t miss the agriculture displays at the State Fair of Texas, like Children’s Barnyard and Spirit of the Horse. Take a tour of the agriculture area, or fit in the Livestock Competition. Check out other agricultural events like the Youth Livestock Auction in early October, and catch the Agriculture Awareness Day – complete with contests and a food drive.
Set in western Dallas in the suburb of Mesquite, the annual Mesquite Pro Rodeo is held during rodeo season – roughly May to August. Founded in 1958, the events are located near Forney and Seagoville in Mesquite Arena. The PRCA Mesquite Championship Rodeo features bull riding, team roping, steer wrestling, and more.
Fort Worth Rodeos
Known as the Southwestern Exposition & Livestock Show, this famous rodeo has been a staple of the Fort Worth area since 1896. Head to the Will Rogers Memorial Center from mid-January through early February, and catch the World’s Original Indoor Rodeo competition.
Looking for a night out? Head to the Rodeo Roadhouse and Coors Light Stage at the Fort Worth Stock Show & Rodeo for a drink and some live music – admittance is free with grounds admission, souvenir pin or rodeo ticket. For a kid-friendly event, bring the family to the All Western Parade in downtown Cowtown and the Best of the West pass you by on the streets of central Fort Worth.
And what’s more, check out the Star-Telegram Stock Show art displays showcased throughout the Fort Worth Stock Show & Rodeo.
Don’t miss classic Fort Worth Stock Show & Rodeo events like the annual Calf Scramble Countdown, or the horse shows at the Will Rogers Equestrian Center – featuring the must-see Mustang Magic show. Check out the Heifer Superintendent’s Beef Challenge, or catch the livestock exhibitions – where you’ll see over 22,000 head of livestock from three countries and 41 states.
So join the rest of Cowtown for the Southwestern Exposition & Livestock Show – everything from magic mustangs to rodeo roadhouses.