Houston Livestock Show and Rodeo announces official dates for 2021


HOUSTON – The Houston Livestock Show and Rodeo was cut short due to the coronavirus pandemic, but that won’t stop the event from carrying on next year.

Rodeo officials announced the new dates for the 2021 Barbecue Contest and the month-long livestock show and rodeo.

The contest will be on Feb. 25 through 27 and the 2021 Houston Livestock Show and Rodeo will start on March 2 and will run through March 21.

Days after opening, the 2020 event was called off due to the imminent threat of the coronavirus pandemic in the Houston area. One of the first positive cases of coronavirus in the Houston area was in a Montgomery County man who attended the barbecue cookoff at the rodeo. According to the rodeo attendance numbers, there were 73,433 people who attended the on the same day as that patient.

Many vendors, students and other rodeo participants were distraught after the announcement was made, and the rodeo came under fire for proceeding with the event despite knowing the potential risk.

New year, new leadership

The Rodeo also saw a massive shift in leadership when long-time president and CEO Joel Cowley stepped down after 15 years of working with the organization.

“I am incredibly thankful to the Houston Livestock Show and Rodeo Executive Committee for the opportunity to serve this organization for the past 15 years, seven as president and CEO,” said Cowley. “Our volunteers and staff have reached incredible milestones over this period and, with the continued support of the community, I am confident that the best is yet to come.”

His position was filled by Chris Boleman, a Ph.D. who previously served at the executive director of agricultural competitions and exhibits at the Rodeo, according to the Rodeo website.

The Houston Livestock Show and Rodeo also brought on a number of new people including Brady Carruth as the new chairman of the board and Kelly Larkin and Robbie Smith, who were elected to the executive committee.

You can find a list of all the staff members of the Rodeo’s website.

About the Author:

Daniela Sternitzky-Di Napoli has been a digital news editor at KPRC 2 since 2018. She is a published poet and has background in creative writing and journalism. Daniela has covered events like Hurricane Harvey and the Astros World Series win. In her spare time, Daniela is an avid reader and loves to spend time with her two miniature dachshunds.