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The Student-Run News Site of Carnegie Vanguard High School

Upstream News

The Student-Run News Site of Carnegie Vanguard High School

Upstream News

Op-Ed: The Houston Rodeo and its outdated charm

Last+years+Houston+Rodeo+and+Livestock+show+from+the+inside+of+the+NRG+stadium
Roxell Bonilla
Last year’s Houston Rodeo and Livestock show from the inside of the NRG stadium

The Houston Livestock Show and Rodeo is a beloved event capturing the essence of being a true Texan with a mix of carnival fun, dangerous rides, live performances from top artists, fattening foods and more. The Rodeo comes around only once a year and as Houstonians, we feel like it is a necessity to put on our Western attire and make it out to NRG Stadium at least once. At first glance, the rodeo is full of exciting eventful activities to take part in, but behind its beautiful neon lights and rowdy crowds, the event seems to be getting a bit old.

Lines are long, restrooms are gross and you will either sweat through your cowboy hat or freeze waiting in line.

Tickets start at $20, not including admission, yet this only buys you the bare minimum experience of the Houston Rodeo.  Despite this heavy-lifting price tag, the rodeo generates roughly $150 million a year reflecting its never-ending popularity in Houston.

However, recently the rodeo has taken a decline in entertainment, specifically in concert lineups. A few years ago, the rodeo had artists such as Cardi B, Jon Pardi, Midland and so many more well-known artists. This year, they have many unusual artists that are intended to cater to different Houston crowds. The majority of the Houston crowd is not very fond of other than the well-known 50 Cent, Luke Bryan, Major Lazer and your typical rodeo performers that return almost every year. The heavy shift sparked many debates about whether it is truly a good idea to go to the rodeo this year.

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The atmosphere of the rodeo is usually targeted towards an older audience, which tends to be less inviting to young crowds such as high school students and younger children. It has become more of a challenge each year for younger crowds to enjoy rides and games as the rodeo separates the “older” crowd from the “younger” crowd by driving a wedge between the fun and exciting carnival games and the toned-down subtle rides available to each demographic.

Nonetheless, when you think about children at the rodeo, the most they are getting out of it is a trip to the petting zoo, a ride on the small Ferris wheel, the 2-story jungle gym, and possibly a singular plushie from the overpriced, hard-to-win games the rodeo has to offer.

Keeping this in mind, the rodeo has exponentially increased in difficulty in the games they have to offer. Going from being able to make every bucket to the rim getting further and more deformed each year. Furthermore, the price of buying tickets to play games used to be $10 for maybe five to six games if you played it smart, but now $10 will only cover two to three small games which offer small prizes that end up being lost as you make your way through the 2.1 million square feet of the rodeo.

With the lack of changes and innovation in the rodeo, it has become more and more predictable year by year, making each trip to the rodeo more of a hassle and less of an enjoyment.

About a year ago, during rodeo season, being at the rodeo was boring. Walking around trying to find games to play or rides to get on, but it was the same thing at every turn and corner. In the past, the iconic “WINNER, WINNER, WINNER” would be loud and proud, but this time around, there was none. The annoyance became a bitter silence. The nostalgic sound was drowned out by the people walking around. I did not win a single prize that day, even after spending over $70 on just tickets. My childhood felt crushed. But, I still went back three more times after to redeem myself.

Despite all the criticism the rodeo receives year by year, it is still a cherished memory and tradition for many Houstonians alike. Spend time with the people they love, share their interest in livestock, and show off their inner Texan through cowboy boots, hats and attire. Though it tends to always fall short on offering a more enticing visit, the small souvenirs and endless pictures fill the rodeo with enjoyable everlasting moments.

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About the Contributors
Roxell Bonilla, Sports Editor
Roxell is a senior at CVHS. She loves sports of all kinds, especially soccer and volleyball, and even runs some sports clubs here at Carnegie. She also loves frogs, with the cute tree frog being one of her favorites. She has three dogs and four cats at home—one of which is named Kiwi.
Daniella Lopez, Staff Writer
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