HOUSTON (KTRK) --Opening day of the 2017 Houston Livestock Show and Rodeo began with a gloomy forecast, but storms never materialized.
No matter, 2,500,000 people are still expected to come to NRG Park over the next few weeks, for the largest livestock show and rodeo in the world.
To put it in perspective, the Houston Super Bowl's pregame prediction was for $350 million in economic impact.
The Livestock Show and Rodeo has more than $400 million in sales tax revenue, hotel bookings, and other income. And it happens every year.
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HLSR CEO Joel Cowley said the new additions included WiFi at NRG Stadium and an air-conditioned gondola ride over the midway and show grounds.
Perfect for good weather or bad.
Kids who took a day off from school, or the lucky ones on a field trip, lined up for the "mutton busting" competition.
They sit atop a lamb and hold on for the ride.
A young boy named Logan left with a championship belt buckle and a big smile. His mount was "Lamborghini."
At the adult venue, the Wine Garden tents were put up in case of a deluge.
John McAleer is chairman of the Wine Garden Committee.
"We've had downpours and people still sit outside drinking their wine," said McAleer.
Last year, 36,000 bottles of wine were sold at the event.
This year, as before, visitors are reminded that despite open-carry law, firearms are not allowed on the grounds.
Selfie sticks are also prohibited and purses, camera cases and strollers are subject to search.
For a full list of events and showtimes, go to RodeoHouston.com.