ABC13 Vault footage from 1959 shows the first televised Houston Downtown Rodeo Parade

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Wednesday, February 21, 2024
ABC13 video from 1959 shows first televised Downtown Rodeo Parade
In this news clip from 2014, ABC13 marked the Downtown Rodeo Parade's 55th year by looking back at the first televised Rodeo Parade in 1959.

HOUSTON, Texas (KTRK) -- The City of Houston has been celebrating the launch of rodeo season with the Downtown Rodeo Parade since 1938.

Every year, thousands of Houstonians gather to see the decorative floats and trail riders on horseback.

Using three cameras set up along the parade route, ABC13 first televised the Rodeo Parade live in 1959, marking the beginning of a long-term relationship between the station and the Houston Livestock Show and Rodeo. Channel 13 has been televising the parade every year since.

We went into the ABC13 Vault to find video of the 1959 celebration. You can see the footage in the video player above.

Black and white video shows spectators lined up along the streets downtown as marching bands, covered wagons, and men on horseback went by. "Gunsmoke's" James Arness led the parade.

Before ABC13 had SkyEye, a camera was mounted on top of a tall building downtown to get a bird's eye view of the celebration.

Before the first televised parade, Channel 13 was also the first television station to do a live broadcast of the rodeo's opening night ceremonies in 1958. Cowboy Western movie star Hoot Gibson was the celebrity guest at that year's show.

ABC13 is the exclusive television partner of the 2024 Rodeo Parade on Saturday, Feb. 24. You can watch it live on television or wherever you stream ABC13 at 10 a.m.

Eleven trail rides with more than 2,000 riders have been making their way to Houston and will converge in downtown to take part in the parade.

2024 Houston Downtown Rodeo Parade: What to know before you go

Looking back at the Houston Downtown Rodeo Parade's early days

We're taking it all the way back.