The annual spectacle that is the Houston Livestock Show and Rodeo kicks off very soon! Are you rodeo ready? Since 1938, the Houston Rodeo has taken over our city every spring, and for the past 82 years, has brought joy, fun, and amusement to residents and visitors alike. Here are a few key facts, tips, and tricks to make the most of this rodeo season.

Get ready for the cook-off, trail rides and parade – all key events leading up to the start of the actual rodeo. This year, the downtown parade is on February 29 and runs along Walker, Travis, Bell, Louisiana, and Lamar Streets. Get there early and park in any of the Theater District parking lots. The Rodeo Parade is celebrating surpassing over $500 million in scholarships to local students by having former scholarship recipients serve as grand marshals.

The Rodeo Bar-B-Que cook-off runs February 27-29 and is the perfect place to sample the most delectable southern food in the world. Top chefs participate by invitation only and put their reputations to the test. Try out the food and enjoy the carnival at this pre-rodeo event.

Trail rides begin soon and with 12 different routes all leading to downtown Houston, you’re sure to cross paths with at least one of them. Check out the maps and schedules as this is one uniquely Texan activity that you’ll be sure to remember – covered wagons pulled by horses and donkeys traveling down some of the busiest streets all in good Rodeo fun.

The Rodeo itself runs March 3 – 22 at NRG Stadium downtown. Nightly rodeo events and contests, such as calf roping, barrel races, and mutton bustin’ precede some of the biggest acts in music today. Arrive early and stop by the wine garden, play at the carnival, get a deep-fried Oreo, and watch the rodeo events. Then, marvel at the music as you dance alongside your new best friends in a packed stadium. Acts such as Gwen Stefani, Willie Nelson, and Lizzo (variety, anyone?!) will make it a night to remember!

For more information and to get tickets, visit RodeoHouston.com.