Night Rider’s Lament

The 2021 Houston Livestock Show and Rodeo Is Officially Cancelled

Looks like the pandemic’s knocked another RodeoHouston out of the saddle.

By Catherine Wendlandt February 3, 2021

Image: Daniel Kramer

Cowgirls (and boys), don’t cry, but we’re not getting a Rodeo this year.

On Wednesday Houston Livestock Show and Rodeo leadership officially cancelled the 2021 RodeoHouston, which had been rescheduled to May 4 – 23 because of the ongoing pandemic. What does this mean exactly? No competitions, carnivals, concerts, and all the other attractions that make RodeoHouston the pride of the city.

Other cancelled events include the Rodeo Parade downtown, Rodeo Uncorked! Roundup & Best Bites Competition, World’s Championship Bar-B-Que Contest, and Trail Ride activities, according to a release, which cited financial factors and community safety as the official reasons for the cancellation.

Last November, eight months after the 2020 Rodeo was dramatically cancelled in a moment of reckoning for Houston, officials announced they were foregoing the annual Open Show livestock competition to focus on the Junior Show and Youth Show events. There were hopes the Open Show could continue on in the late spring, but now we’re just going to have to hang up our spurs instead.

“While we were optimistic that moving our Rodeo to May would provide a better opportunity to host our annual community event that Rodeo fans have come to love and expect, unfortunately, it has become evident that the current health situation has not improved to the degree necessary to host our event,” RodeoHouston CEO and President Chris Boleman said. “While this is an extremely heartbreaking decision for our Rodeo volunteers and the larger Rodeo community, we believe this decision is in the best interest of the health and well-being of our community.”

But, Houston, we don’t have to hang up those spurs just yet. The Junior Livestock and Horse shows, which were promised to continue last fall, will, indeed, still take place this March as private events, “upholding the Rodeo’s mission of promoting agriculture and supporting Texas youth,” according to the release. Plus, the Junior Market Auctions and Champion Wine Auction still take place in May as well. The Rodeo Run will be held virtually.

"The Rodeo and our volunteers are committed to continuing to provide fans with a community event that all can be proud of,” Boleman said. “We look forward to welcoming Rodeo fans back to the Houston Livestock Show and Rodeo in 2022 for our 90th anniversary celebration.”

So, folks, looks like we’ve got to wait another year to hear the roar of a Sunday crowd.

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