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Rodeo Tips and Tricks from a Volunteer

It doesn't matter if you're a lifelong Houstonian or new to our bustling and diverse city, this time of year means one thing. The  Houston Livestock Show and Rodeo is officially here!

Did you know that HLSR is a charity organization that donates millions of dollars every year to  scholarships and education for Houston and the greater state of Texas? It's also the largest event in the world where it's put together by over 35,000 volunteers every year. This organization is near and dear to our hearts and a great way to give back, all while having fun! 

I've been a volunteer for the last six years, and a lifetime rodeo attendee. It's such a sense of excitement when I take my first steps on the grounds, taking in the sights of the  carnival rides,  food tents, and all the rest of the volunteers working hard to get ready for another season. Every year I look forward to my favorites, like Mutton Bustin' with my family, some well deserved girl time at the  Champion Wine Garden, and trying new and funfoods at the carnival. Whether you're going on a date, with friends, or plan to enjoy the rodeo with your family, I love that there is something for everyone!  

Even as a seasoned pro, navigating through the NRG Park can be intimidating, so here are a few tips that I share frequently:

- Make sure you know what type of ticket you're buying.  Grounds tickets will give you access to the Carnival, NRG Center, Wine Garden, The Hideout and the NRG Arena. These tickets are $20 for adults, and $10 for children 3-12 years old.  Concert tickets will allow you access NRG stadium for the rodeo competition and the concert as well as everything included on the Grounds tickets. 

 

-  Value Wednesdays are great if you're looking to save some money. Free Family Wednesday Admission for seniors, 60 and over, and children, 12 and under  until noon Wednesday February 28th and March 13th during rodeo. Bonus: March 6th,  ALL guests are free  until noon for Community Day! Don't forget to check out these food vendorsthat are also offering Value Wednesday deals. 

- There are nice portable restrooms throughout the grounds, but there are also restrooms inside the Arena, Center and Stadium. Check out the restrooms on the second floor at the Center. There are usually less crowded and the restrooms tend to be cleaner.

 - Parking is not included in any ticket purchase, so make sure to buy your  parking ticket ahead of time, or be ready to pay $25 in any of the designated lots If you're not looking to drive, the  METRORail offers rides for $1.25 from three rail lines. Tip: If you're planning on using a ride share: Kirby is closed during  certain times of the day, so have them drop you off at a business across the street (PetSmart, Ross Dress For Less, etc.) It will be easier for you to find each other and may eliminate traffic wait time. 

-  I highly recommend having  travel hand wipes and  disinfectant wipes in tow. You may not think you need them, but when the sugar from the deep fried Oreos and cotton candy leave your hands sticky, you will be happy to have them.

- Wear. Comfortable. Shoes. You think this would go without saying, but every rodeo season you see ladies holding their high heels in their hands and walking barefoot. Well broken in boots and sneakers make all the difference when you're walking around all day. 

- Download the RODEOHOUSTON app on your phone to have an interactive map of NRG Park. Need help in real time? Look out for committeemen in the teal vest, Directions & Assistance. They will be more than happy to help you around. 

Whether this is your first rodeo or your 20th, kick the dust up in your boots. Carnival rides, good music, deep fried goodies and so much more are waiting for you this 2024 season. 

Let's get ready to Rodeo!