After RodeoHouston was cut short, next year's has a new date

HOUSTON, Texas (KTRK) -- RodeoHouston will happen in 2021, just a little later than originally planned.

The Houston Livestock Show and Rodeo announced the new date on Tuesday. Originally scheduled for March 2 - 21, RodeoHouston competitions, concerts and entertainment, are now set for May 4 - 23, 2021, pending COVID-19 health status. The carnival and other attractions and activities are slated to take place then as well.

The Junior Livestock and Horse Show competitions will still be held in March, as previously announced.

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Originally scheduled for March 2 - 21, RODEOHOUSTON competitions, concerts and entertainment, carnival and other attractions and activities are now scheduled for May 4 - 23, 2021.



Pre-rodeo events, typically held in January and February, are scheduled to move as well to coincide with the new dates. These events include the Downtown Rodeo Parade, Rodeo Run, Trail Ride activities, the Rodeo Uncorked! Roundup and Best Bites Competition, and the World's Championship Bar-B-Que Contest. Details for these events will be announced once available.

"The Houston Livestock Show and Rodeo is truly a community event that Rodeo fans look forward to each and every year," said Chris Boleman, Rodeo president and CEO. "With the evolving health situation, we have made the decision to move the 2021 Rodeo from March to May, with the exception of our Junior Livestock and Horse Show competitions, to be held as planned in March. We remain dedicated to fulfilling our mission to support Texas youth and hosting a long-time Houston tradition."

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1965 Rodeo Parade



Officials recognize that with COVID-19 there are no guarantees, but they hope the later date gives a better opportunity for the events to be held. Additional details surrounding the 2021 Rodeo will be shared by early March, as well as the full health and safety guidelines.

The 2020 Rodeo was shut down abruptly on March 11 when Judge Lina Hidalgo and Mayor Sylvester Turner announced an emergency health declaration, effectively shutting down the Houston Livestock Show and Rodeo along with its entertainment division, RodeoHouston.

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After the Houston Livestock Show and Rodeo was canceled, Katy ISD stepped in to help by providing a barn shelter for participant's animals.



Mayor Sylvester Turner released the following statement Tuesday, regarding the plans for the 2021 event.

"I have spoken with Rodeo officials, and I thank them for working closely with the City of Houston and Chief Medical Officer Dr. David Persse about moving the show to May 2021. While no one can predict the future of the coronavirus pandemic, I am optimistic that the multiple vaccines that are being developed and manufactured in the United States will improve our chances of returning to normal activities by the middle of next year.

"Houston and the Houston Livestock Show and Rodeo are synonymous. It is hard to imagine one without the other. People worldwide come to our City to compete for grand prizes and enjoy the carnival and concerts.

"When the Rodeo was canceled earlier this year because of COVID-19 community spread, the decision was based on data and science. As we move forward, the City of Houston will continue to monitor the positivity rate, hospital capacity, wastewater virus load, and reproduction rate. If we work together, we can create a safe environment for the Houston Livestock Show and Rodeo.

"I encourage people to do their part to blunt the virus's progression; that means wearing a mask, social distancing, washing your hands frequently, and getting tested. I also encourage everyone to get vaccinated when the opportunity becomes available."


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Here is how Houston Mayor Sylvester Turner responded to questions of whether he and other leaders knew about a person infected by COVID-19 days before the rodeo abruptly closed.



Harris County Judge Lina Hidalgo was more cautious in her reaction to the rodeo's schedule change.

"The Houston Livestock Show and Rodeo is part of the DNA that makes up who we are as Harris County. It's an incredible forum for world class competition, entertainment, and scholarship. We desperately wish we could return to normal with a regular show in the Spring. Sadly, we are far from reaching a point where any gathering is advisable, let alone one the size and scale of our rodeo.

Over the past several months we have remained in close touch with rodeo officials to provide them with the latest guidance from public health officials and have had very productive conversations. We will continue to do so. We still do not know if hosting a mass gathering like the Rodeo in May will be feasible, safe or advisable, and it may well not be.

Even with the potential of a vaccine on the horizon, we need folks to channel that optimism and take action now to prevent the spread by canceling gatherings, getting tested, and following public health guidance. Right now, we're far from the finish line, but there is a finish line in sight.


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