This past March, the 2014 Houston Livestock Show and Rodeo broke the 20-day attendance record with 2.48 million fans. Paid attendance reached a record 1.37 million as crowds cheered on champion rodeo performers, plus a notable slate of superstar entertainers at the Reliant Stadium.
All this excitement reminds us why we endure sore feet and junk food… because the fun is definitely worth it! My family spent several days celebrating this uniquely Texas annual event and can’t wait for next year!
Here’s a look back at some fun facts you may not have heard of… and boy, oh boy, the numbers are astounding!
Visitors consumed an astounding amount of culinary treats:
• 16,000 pounds of deep-fried pickles
• 70,000 pounds of potatoes
• 55,000 pounds of barbecue and 42,580 of barbecue sandwiches
• 250,000 funnel cakes topped with 1.5 million strawberries
• 120,000 turkey legs
• 100 pounds of fried, chocolate-dipped bacon
• 10,000 cinnamon rolls
• One-and-a-half semi-trailer loads of deep-fried Twinkies
Kids and Critters
• 20 calves, 23 lambs and 54 piglets were born• More than 475 chicks hatched
• More than 60,135 people went on a school field trip
• Approximately 20,500 kiddos rode the pony rides
• More than 22,000 people rode camels
• More than 2,120 kids competed in the tractor pull
• Fun on the Farm hosted more than 115,000 little farmers
• More than 2.4 million enjoyed the rides
• More than 1.5 million played carnival games
• More than 10,000 rode the mechanical bull
• 62 big rig 18-wheelers of stuffed animals were won as prizes
• The La Grande Ferris Wheel took 75,000 riders “up, up, up!”
• 50,000 rode the carousel
Scholarship and Education
The Reba McEntire Scholarship honored country music icon Reba on her 26th RodeoHouston performance Thursday, March 6. Reba is only the second entertainer to have a scholarship named for her, following George Strait in 2013. The $18,000 scholarship will be given annually from 2014 forward through the Show’s Educational Fund. The Leroy Shafer Scholarship, presented Saturday, March 22, 2014, honors the chief operating officer of the Houston Livestock Show and Rodeo. Shafer has dedicated his time and attention to the Show for more than 40 years. The Show committed more than $23 million in 2014.
• $12,418,000 in scholarships to be awarded this summer
• $525,400 in graduate assistantships
• $3,731,064 in educational program grants
• $6,388,000 for 2014 junior show exhibitors
Next year’s event is scheduled for March 3-22, 2015. Check out the latest news at www.rodeohouston.com for more on their record-breaking season.
Holly Chervnsik is the owner of SuburbanBuzz, a local website and marketing company. She also served as assistant captain for the Wine Sales and Public Relations committees of the Houston Livestock Show and Rodeo.