|While waiting in line we could look in and see this goat watching the crowd. She was part of a pretty cool educational exhibit teaching kids (and their parents) how food goes from farms to grocery stores.|
|Next to the Borden Milk area is the animal birthing area where we got to see the young 'uns born at the Rodeo, Who can resist such cute critters?|
|Bovine competitors resting backstage.|
|Competitors with the heifer show. Participants learn animal husbandry and compete for scholarships.|
Wandering the building we also got to see the heifer show and check out the eats and drinks.
|A much larger crowd than previous years and also lots of food and drink options available indoors.|
|Somehow we found gluten free items. Typically fries don't have gluten in them, but now you can be absolutely sure.|
|In case you're prefer your curly fries in a cone, instead of a loaf.|
|Large volumes of food on very large grills everywhere.|
|We also found bacon wrapped turkey legs.|
|Rotisserie chicken on a specialized grill.|
|What's this? Bacon wrapped pork belly? Yes please!|
|The bacon wrapped pork belly was available at Big Bubba's Bad BBQ.|
|They also had grills upon grills full of turkey and chicken.|
|The bacon wrapped pork belly. Actually, exceptionally delicious. Available for around $15 each.|
|Sausages, grilled jalapenos, etc.|
|Other vendors had many other fried things, including red velvet cake. I didn't find the fried Nutella this year.|
|Deep Fried Kettle Corn. Didn't try it, but it looked interesting.|
|I posted on the pickle place last year, but tried the fried zucchini from them this year. I did not even think about trying the chocolate covered pickle. That just sounds nasty.|
|The Belgian waffle place is new for this year. I was intrigued by the deep fried biscuits and gravy.|
|Sadly they did not bring the fried beer to this show. As you can see, they've been regulars to the Texas State Fair, although this is their first year at the Houston Rodeo.|
|I had a difficult time deciding what to get but ultimately decided on the deep fried Sriracha. It was, after all, the most unusual item on the menu.|
We also headed to the horse arena to see what was new there. A mule pull was in progress. Growing up we went to the annual mule pull in our small town. It was a chance to show off the strength of the animals. Also, there's not a lot to do for entertainment in small, rural towns.
|A mule pull is a team event. These are very strong animals that you have to line up in an alley (marked with tape on the ground) and get them to pull the sled together as a team. It's hard work.|
|When they work together it's a thing of beauty. If the team fails to pull the weight, they get a 5 minute rest to try again.|
|Camels taking a break in front of the Ford truck area.|
|An unusual find in the shopping area.|
1. Get your tickets online and print them out before you go. Tickets are available here and it will be so much easier to get them from a desktop or laptop computer than from a mobile device.
2. If you can, go early and eat breakfast at the Rodeo. There are lots of options, including breakfast tacos, kolaches, and the Belgian waffles mentioned above. If it's a nice day and a weekend it will get crowded fast.
3. If you need to sit and rest for awhile, check out the various ag competitions. They're indoors and air conditioned.
4. If you find the lines for the restrooms in the main exhibit hall to be very long, you have 2 options. You can either walk through the animal holding areas and use the restrooms on the opposite side of the exhibit hall OR you can go upstairs and use those restrooms.
5. The light rail will be very, very busy. If you are claustrophobic or have social anxiety, park at the Rodeo.
6. There are a number of different ATMs at the rodeo. User fees range from around $3-6. If you don't want to pay this fee, bring cash. Many of the vendors accept credit and debit cards, but not all of them do.
7. If you wish to drink beer or wine, bring ID. They card everyone. Some craft beers are available at beer vendors throughout the Rodeo. We found Goliad Dark Hefeweizen and Live Oak Pilsner while we were there. $10.25 for craft beer. I think it was $10 for beers like Bud, Bud Lite, Blue Moon, and Miller.
8. Be nice to the Rodeo staff. The vast majority of them are volunteers. They're the ones who make sure everything runs smoothly and that the animals don't get out and harm you.