Houston Livestock Show and Rodeo kicks off

HLSR runs through March 18

HOUSTON - The Houston Livestock Show and Rodeo kicked off for its 80th year Tuesday.

For many of the livestock competitors, it's move-in day for their prized goats, hogs and cattle.

"We always come the first day," one woman said. "Opening day is the most important day. It's exciting, it's fresh, everybody's happy. It's just a great time."

Legendary country band Alabama is the star-studded performer for the rodeo, which kicks off at 6:45 p.m. in Reliant Stadium.

"You can't beat Houston," said Clint Cannon, world bareback champion. "You're riding in front of a sold-out crowd every night, where the Texans play. You're out in that same arena and all eyes are on you once that bucking horse or bull leaves the chute. Then you get off and you're like, 'Yes! This is a pretty cool deal.'"

There are also a lot of new events to draw in the millions of visitors who visit the Show each year.

"We always have some new stuff. This year, we have a scavenger hunt. It's a lot of fun for everyone to do and a way we take them around the grounds without them even knowing it. We have a new horticulture exhibit that we've got going on. In the rodeo, we have a new fireworks show, a new lead-in into the concert, a new national anthem. We're always trying to add new, interesting stuff," said Skip Wagner, president of the HLSR. "In the kids section, we always have new ways of displaying animals and stuff. We've got a new exhibit that we've got in concert with the department of agriculture that we've upgraded. We've got additional stuff in the birthing center."

A calf was born in the birthing center at 11:30 p.m. Monday -- just in time to be featured on the first day of the Show. The birthing center is open from 9 a.m. until 9 p.m. each day in the Capital One Bank AGventure in Reliant Center.

KPRC Local 2 will air a live "Rodeo Houston All-Access Pass" Wednesday from 8 p.m.-9 p.m. all about the 20-day event.

Also, Click2Houston has a special section dedicated to the Houston Livestock Show and Rodeo. It has everything you need to know before you head out to Reliant Park.

For those on Facebook and Twitter, use #kprcrodeo to be a part of our social media conversation.

The Houston Livestock Show and Rodeo runs through March 18.

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