If you've never been to a rodeo, you just don't know what you're missing!
Rodeos are a popular form of entertainment all over the world, drawing in people from all walks of life. Each rodeo is unique and has it's own set of attractions. Competitors, spectators, adults, children and everyone in between has something offered to them at each and every rodeo. No matter where they're held or who they're geared towards, there is always an atmosphere of excitement and a hint of danger. The northeastern quarter of the country has the least exposure to these riveting events, so maybe this list will plant inspiration in their hearts, and they'll be fun-loving cowboys yet!
SEE ALSO: 10 Best Rodeos in the US
25. Rodeo clowns
Rodeo clowns have been a beloved part of every rodeo competition since the beginning of the sport. Not only are they there for protection, but they provide laughter and fun for families attending events.
24. Stock shows
Many of the major rodeos throughout the U.S. feature livestock shows where people can see prized animals from all over the country. There are even opportunities for 4-H and FFA students to compete and show off their hard work with their animals.
23. Special events
Some rodeos host special events, such as clay shooting competitions. These allow for people to exhibit other passions and often (such as the Boots N Shoot at the San Antonio Rodeo) the proceeds go towards other competitions and causes within the rodeo community.
22. Scholarship opportunities
Many rodeos hold major beauty pageants and competitions in-between the other events and offer scholarships to the winners. The largest of these is Miss Rodeo America and is held at the Wrangler National Finals Rodeo in Las Vegas every year.
21. Team roping
Watching team roping gives the spectators a sense of the camaraderie between rodeo competitors. Seeing ropers work together to catch their steer in record time thrills the audience every time.
20. Crowd favorites
Every rodeo fan has their personal favorite competitor, whether it's someone they know at a small local event or a nationally-ranked champion competing in the largest rodeos of the year. Fans bond with each other and with their favorite riders as they cheer their hearts out at each event.
19. Town cultures
When traveling to out-of-town rodeos, people have the opportunity to see how another community lives. Local businesses go all out when it's rodeo season, and a side of each culture that people usually don't get to see is displayed with pride.
Select rodeos offer scorecards for guests to join in the fun and tally each competition on their own. The Lone Star Rodeo in Florence, SC offers them as part of a VIP package.
17. Rodeo history
Most Southern families grow up with rodeo, and they all know the deep history of the sport, from a lowly and poor hobby to a worldwide phenomenon. A sense of wonderment settles over those who know the history and are proud to be a part of the tradition.
Let's face it, most of us as children had dreams of either being a cowboy/girl or being with one. For some, rodeos are the closest they get to that exhilarating culture.
After a long day of danger and excitement comes the nighttime hoedowns and square dances. One thing that cowboys can't turn down is a great party!
As Americans, we are lucky enough to be able to reach all corners of our country fairly easily. Those with the rodeo bug will travel far and wide for some of the industry's largest events, with the opportunity to pass through beautiful parts of the country every time.
Be honest now, who doesn't love horses? These beautiful and majestic creatures are admired by just about everyone, and rodeos are where they're at their peak. Rodeo horses are agile, intelligent, powerful, and faster than a speeding bullet. Who wouldn't love to watch them?
Going to a rodeo means being dressed to the nines: the best pair of boots you own, a belt buckle larger than your head, and that crisp cowboy hat you love so much. Everyone wants a chance to break out their best.
The rodeo is fun for all ages! There are plenty of fun activities and games for children to play, plus they get the chance to build their love of rodeo right from the starting gate.
Heading to rodeo also affords people the opportunity to buy new livestock. Junior livestock auctions are common and not only do you get to bid on prized animals raised by young enthusiasts, but part of the proceeds always goes to a good cause.
Picture the biggest barbecue/potluck/feast you can. Now double it. The amount of food offered up at the rodeo will have your stomach full-to-bursting. If that alone isn't a reason to go, I don't know what is.
Bring the whole family to a rodeo weekend and watch performers stage a parade to show their local pride. Beautiful horses, talented riders, and plenty of laughs are guaranteed!
For some people, rodeo has been a family tradition for generations. Maybe some had grandparents who participated, or perhaps family values were passed down that kept each generation of children coming back. No matter the reason, most of the people you find at rodeos will tell you how long their family has been a part of the action.
6. National pride
Our country's national anthem will come blaring through the speakers, and you'll see every person in attendance standing with their hats off and their hands over their hearts. Rodeo is a sport that fills people with love for our country, and you will find no one more full of national pride than these hard-working Americans.
5. Fairs and carnivals
Yes, that's right. Not only do rodeos offer amazing food, daring events, prized animals, and rowdy clowns...but there are often fairs attached to them as well. Ride your favorite carnival rides, eat even more delicious food, and win prizes on top.
4. Youngster events
That is a real picture; you're not looking at a doctored photo. Mutton bustin' is a kid's event at rodeos where you can see young children (commonly between the ages of 5 and 6) riding and racing sheep. It's perfectly safe (see his helmet?) and perfectly adorable to watch.
3. Pure excitement
Now, if you've made it this far through this list, you can easily understand why the sheer excitement and an adrenaline rush is enough of a reason to attend the rodeo. Every second of a rodeo has you cheering while gripping the edge of your seat. Think about the more dangerous events: those bucking broncos and bulls will toss those riders at a moment's notice, and you'll be holding your breath until they're safely out of the ring.
2. Music, music, music
Live music is everywhere at a rodeo; you could see anyone from a small local singer to some of your favorite stars. The best part about music at a rodeo is the diversity, the differing genres booked by the bigger cities. For example, Rodeo Austin is featuring artists such as Willie Nelson, Panic! At The Disco, and The Beach Boys this year. Now how's that for variety?
1. Community atmosphere
The rodeo community is a family and they are always welcoming new members with open arms. Whether you've been going to the rodeo your whole life or it's your first time, you will leave at the end of the day knowing you've seen friends. There is no place warmer, kinder, and more fun than the rodeo.