Cowboys watch as a bull rider attempts to hang on when the bull leaps out of the gate.
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10 of the Best Small Town Rodeos in Texas

Editor's Note: This article was previously published in 2020. We're sharing it again as part of our Texas Month.

Rodeo is a longstanding and beloved tradition in Texas. It's a time when we can celebrate our beloved Texas heritage while having a great time.

The largest rodeo in Texas is the Houston Livestock Show and Rodeo, with over two million attendees annually. The Fort Worth Stock Show and Rodeo is one of the oldest, established in 1896 at the historic Fort Worth stockyards. Rodeo Austin, the State Fair of Texas Rodeo in Dallas and the San Antonio Stock Show and Rodeo have great shows each year as well and put on some incredible feats of bravery and horsemanship. Not to mention some awesome live music.

However, if you really want to experience Texas, you shouldn't skip the small-town rodeos. The big cities can afford elaborate festivals and unforgettable concerts, but the heart of Texas lies in its small towns. Make a point to attend one of these 10 smaller rodeos for an evening of bull riding, mutton bustin', team roping and some of the most talented Texas cowboys and cowgirls to ever step their boots into a rodeo arena. You'll be glad you did.

1. Big Bend Ranch Rodeo - Alpine

The Big Bend Ranch Rodeo in Alpine is a truly genuine Texan experience. Sanctioned by the Working Ranch Cowboys Association, the Big Bend Ranch Rodeo brings together real cowboys to showcase the skills they use in their daily work.

2. Rodeo Giddings - Giddings

Held at the Lee County Sheriff's Posse Arena in Giddings, Rodeo Giddings is generally held the third week of April, so stay tuned for 2023! The event includes a rodeo dance along with classic rodeo events like steer wrestling, roping, barrel racing, and more. Rodeo Giddings is one of the largest outdoor rodeos in central Texas and has been honored several times as "Best CPRA Rodeo of the Year" (Cowboy's Professional Rodeo Association).

3. Belton Rodeo - Belton

Located on I-35 outside of Temple, Belton, Texas has a great small-town rodeo. Held in conjunction with the annual 4th of July festivities, the Belton Rodeo has been a tradition since 1924. A barbecue lunch, parade, and festival are only the beginning of this fun Texas event. Held at the Bell County Expo Center, the Belton Rodeo boasts some incredible competitions in a friendly environment that you've just got to experience for yourself. 

4. Marble Falls Rodeo - Marble Falls

Founded in 1957 by Marble Falls local Charlie Taylor, the Marble Falls Rodeo is a great small-town Texas rodeo to check out this summer. Held annually in mid-July in the Texas Hill Country, the festivities include a rodeo parade, and the rodeo gives scholarships each year to local high school students.

5. Cowboy Capital of the World PCRA Rodeo - Stephenville

Folks in Stephenville take rodeo very seriously. The small town sits southwest of Fort Worth and hosts the Cowboy Capital of the World PCRA Rodeo every September at Lone Star Arena. This year's events will be held Sept. 23-25, and it's sure to be a spectacular event.

6. Rockdale Fair and Rodeo - Rockdale

Held every Fall since 1977, the Rockdale Fair and Rodeo is one you won't forget. You'd be surprised how much fun they can pack into such a small town. The event has historically hosted some strong country music headliners alongside exciting rodeo events like roping and riding. They even host a tractor pull, a livestock show, and much more! This year's rodeo is set for the third week of October.

7. Brazoria County Fair - Angleton

The Brazoria County Fair will be held Oct. 14 - 22, 2022, and it's sure to be a great time this year just like it has been since 1910. The annual festivities include a livestock show, fair and rodeo in Angleton, and live music. It's hosted such acts as Aaron Watson and Randy Rogers Band for a little Texas country music entertainment.

8. Matagorda County Fair - Bay City

This little coastal town comes alive every spring for this event which includes a barbecue cook-off, a beauty pageant, and a livestock show alongside some first-rate saddle bronc riding, bull riding and calf roping.

9. West of the Pecos Rodeo - Pecos

Known as Texas's longest continuously running rodeo, the Pecos Rodeo began in 1883 and continues to be a Texan tradition. Held annually each summer, the West of the Pecos Rodeo (as it's called) takes place at the Buck Jackson Arena in the small, West Texas town of Pecos. It's just about as historical and exciting a rodeo as we have here in the Lone Star State. 

10. Rio Grande Valley Livestock Show - Mercedes

The Rio Grande Valley Livestock Show and Rodeo will be coming up again in Mercedes, Texas in March of 2023. The rodeo began in 1940 and has continued to thrill South Texas ever since. For some real excitement, check out the "X-treme Bull Riding."


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