Go Texan Day is tomorrow, Friday, March 3, which means the annual trail rides leading into Houston from across the state will be converging on the city, and—of course—that Rodeo season has finally arrived.

Above, a behind-the-scenes look at just what it takes to get the Houston Livestock Show and Rodeo up and running each year at NRG Park, courtesy of yesterday's Chairman of the Board Media Reception and Tour. Last year, the Rodeo saw a total of 2,462,030 attendees throughout its three-week run, which was manned by a dedicated group of 32,000 volunteers and 100 full-time staff.

Rodeo attendees also ate their way through 300,000 giant turkey legs, 115,000 barbecue sandwiches, 53,000 funnel cakes, 22,000 deep-fried Oreos, 18,000 cinnamon rolls and five acres of corn were served. And when they weren't gobbling down fair food (or watching the nightly concerts in NRG Stadium), they were hitting the midway's rides and games. 

Last year's most popular rides were the Sky Ride, Coaster, Rave Wave, the G Force and, of course, La Grande Ferris Wheel, all of which are getting polished up for another round of riders this year. Meanwhile, the most-played carnival games were Mini Basketball, One Ball and Bank a Ball. On offer again this year as prizes: giant, stuffed, plush emojis that are now joined by Rodeo-only emojis—which we're calling rodeojis—available through the HLSR app. Best of all? Unlike those prizes, the rodeojis are totally free.

The 2017 Houston Livestock Show and Rodeo takes place March 7–26 at NRG Park. For more information and to purchase tickets, visit rodeohouston.com.

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