The Fort Worth Stock Show and Rodeo is considered to be the oldest running livestock show and rodeo in the world. Since 1896, the Fort Worth Stock Show and Rodeo have been held annually every mid-January until early February. The Stock Show is a non-profit organization that donates hundreds of thousands of dollars every year to assist livestock and agriculture, management leaders. Aside from that, it also gives scholarships and grants. In this article, we are going to know more about the Fort Worth Stock Show and Rodeo and why it attracts millions of visitors every year.
After the Civil War, the City of Fort Worth was hailed as “Cowtown” because cowboys used to stop there to get some supplies in town while herding their cattle from South Texas to the Chisholm Trail. When the Texas and Pacific Railway was opened in 1876, several business people started to build stockyards in the area to become a big part of the cattle industry. In 1883, the Fort Worth Stockyards was officially established.
The marketing strategy for the place led to the formation of the first-ever stock show in 1896. Back then, it was called as the Southwestern Exposition and Livestock Show; this was first held along Marine Creek because there were no enclosures or buildings in that area. The first stock show became a hit. That is why the organizers decided to gather again and held a two-day event in October which coincides with the National Livestock Exchange Convention meeting. However, most exhibitors wanted spring dates, that is why the Show became known as a March event. This date is also in sync with a series of significant livestock shows that were held all across the country.
The idea of having a rodeo in the Stock Show was the idea of a local newspaper editor named Ray McKinley. He suggested that there should be a show in the event where it features a competition among cowgirls and cowboys. That is why the Stock Show then-president Marion Sansom decided to appoint a committee of 7 men that were all involved in the cattle and horse industry. Together, they organized the competition, and in 1918, the Fort Worth Rodeo happened, and it is considered to be the world’s first indoor rodeo. About 23,000 people all came to watch the first indoor rodeo in the world.
Things to Do in Fort Worth Stock Show and Rodeo
- Watch an old-school parade – This parade is a tradition in the Fort Worth Stock Show and Rodeo since 1896. In this event, you will get to see plenty of horses, stagecoaches, Fort Worth Herd drovers, and even equestrian troupes.
- Watch a celebrity do some goat-milking – You can watch local TV and radio personalities get into some goat-milking contest that is followed by a goat costume contest.
- Explore some museums – The general stock grounds are also home to the Fort Worth Museum of Science and History as well as the National Cowgirl Museum and Hall of Fame.
- Enjoy some live music – If you want to relax after some rodeo fun, you can head on down to the Coors Light Roadhouse, where they offer free music for rodeo ticketholders.
- See some Llamas in costume – We mentioned something about the Fort Worth Stock Show and Rodeo holding a goat costume contest. They went all in and decided to add some dressed-up llamas to the Show. So if you want to witness one of the cutest things you will see ever, then we suggest that you should check this one out.
- Learn more about different animals – The Fort Worth Stock Show and Rodeo doesn’t just entertain, you can also learn a few things from it. This is because the stock allows both adults and kids to talk to exhibitors about heifers, horses, rabbits, and even pigeons.