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Saturday, March 15, 2008

Fieldtrip: Houston Livestock Show & Rodeo

Since it's my son's spring break from school we decided to make a trip down to the largest Livestock Show & Rodeo in the world. The Houston LS & R has concerts from top Country artists, all sorts of Rodeo Events like bull riding and cow roping, along with an extensive showing of animals and livestock. Top that off with a huge fair and barbecue cook-off and you've got one heck of a venue. We arrived just before lunch to beat the crowds and as much of the heat as possible(yes, even in March it's hot down in Houston). We ate our traditional rodeo lunch of smoked turkey legs and boy were they tastey!

We didn't want to spend the money on the big ticket events like concerts or rodeo shows so after a lunch of smoked turkey legs we headed over to the livestock show. The show consists of rows of vedors selling everything country from hats to ropes to furniture to tractors and trucks. It's a lot of fun and if you're like me you may decide to become a total cowgirl - until you check the price tag of that belt buckle! The other side of the arena is filled with all of the animals there to be judged and displayed. People don't seem to mind if you stroll down the aisles of animals waiting to be judged. And like us you can ask to pet the cows and hear more about them - teenagers love to talk about themselves so most will oblige!

There is also an entire section dedicated to farm life and raising livestock and you can spend a lot of time looking around. Every hour there was a small show about milk and where it comes from. A cow is brought up milked right before your very eyes. Though a couple hundred years ago this would have been slightly less than interesting - for us city folks it was fascinating! There are rabbits and guinea pigs for sale that were raised by local school kids - and actually a friend bought one a couple years back and because they were hand raised from birth by one adoring child or teen - they are totally family ready. There is another area dedicated to animals giving birth and you can actually see piglets nursing and cows giving birth. I felt a special affinity to this display! Here I am with a cow that was going to deliver sometime in the next few hours - that look is supposed to say, "I know EXACTLY how she feels."

But by far our favorite section each year is the chickens. We love to go and see the eggs hatching, chicks taking their first steps and then pullets running around like teenagers. You can even see it come full circle with the hens laying eggs right in front of you!After wandering around for almost two hours it was time for our last stop - the fair. The boys were super excited but so we wouldn't empty our wallets we prepared them in advance that they would get to ride one maybe two rides. We spent some time looking around and made our final decisions. The boys had loads of fun and watching them was better than actually riding ourselves! ;)

All in all, I love shows like this one - large or small. In fact, I might even enjoy the smaller ones better where you get to see local farmers display their beautiful pumpkins and intricate quilts. I love seeing folks who live their lives on the land, dedicated to farming and a simpler way of life. I also love seeing all of the sparkley hats and belt buckles! Check your local listings and I'm sure you'll find a county fair and livestock show that the whole family can enjoy!


1 comment:

Sarah said...

yehaw! those pics are fabulous. we went to the livestock show too. i do love it!