Rodeo Parade takes over downtown Houston

February 23, 2013 8:33:12 PM PST
Downtown Houston was transformed from a bustling city center into a down-home celebration of western heritage for the 2013 Houston Livestock Show and Rodeo Parade.

Thousands of men and women on horseback filled the streets alongside floats, wagons, bands and more to participate in one of Houston's biggest annual celebrations.

The Fightin' Texas Aggie Band opened the parade with aggie football coach Kevin Sumlin riding in a carriage right behind the band. Sumlin was chosen to be the parade's grand marshal in recognition of his successful first year at Texas A&M.

"To be associated with this parade and what the rodeo does for scholarships and the city of Houston, it's just a great honor. And a lot of people having a good time," Sumlin said.

Johnny Manziel may have won the Heizman, but Sumlin said taking part in this parade was its own prize.

"We've got great memories in the city of Houston. We still have a lot of friends here running up and down the road," Sumlin said.

There was a wagon pulled by people, 50 rodeo clowns to make people laugh, and Andalusian horses, which amazed and delighted spectators as they danced their way down the street.

Then there were the 13 groups of trail riders, including the oldest one, the Salt Grass Trail ride. It is now 1,400 riders strong.

And as always, the marching bands were a hit.

The faces of the kids in their cowboy and cowgirl gear really say it all, the rodeo parade was once again a lot of fun.

Even though the Houston Livestock Show and Rodeo officially starts Monday, there are plenty of activities happening this weekend at Reliant Park, which is filled with booths, tents and music. But the real star of Saturday's events was the food -- the three-day World's Championship Bar-B-Que Contest. It's where former champions and amateurs trying to learn or master their secrets to barbeque success.

"We have about 950 briskets. We have 485 slabs of ribs, 600 pounds of sausage, pallets of green beans, pallets of beans," cook Chris Richardson said.

"We tried something a little different out here, because as you move around the country, the tastes change and you have to make little adjustments," defending champion Matt Sprouls said.

"So what do you think the Houston taste is? What do we like here in Texas?" we asked.

"I think you like it a little spicier, maybe a little lower on the sweet scale, possibly than when you go north to Kansas City and things like that," he replied.

Also on Saturday, thousands of runners hit the streets of downtown Houston Saturday morning for the 26th annual ConocoPhillips Rodeo Run. Last year, a record 15,000 runners took part in the event, and this year they are hoping for even more so they can add to the nearly $3 million they've raised for college scholarships since the first race in 1988.

We want to see your Rodeo Parade photos ? past and present. Email them to news@abc13.com or upload them at iWitness.abc13.com and we'll post them online.
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