The Ultimate Guide to Rodeo Austin 2018
Weird meets western at Rodeo Austin. With over 100 live music performances, 15 livestock and horse shows, 8 rodeo events, and a colorful fair with true Texan eats, there's something for everyone to enjoy during the 15 day fair.
Music sounds sweeter in the Live Music Capital of the World, where Rodeo Austin offers over 100 shows in just 15 days. From Texas country to punk rock, the lineup spans a variety of genres. Here are the artists taking the main stage this year:
March 10 – Josh Turner
March 11 – Duelo
March 12 – Ludacris
March 13 – Cody Johnson
March 14 – Chris Janson
March 15 – Young the Giant
March 16 – Josh Abbott Band
March 17 – Justin Moore
March 18 – Tracy Lawrence
March 19 – Lanco
March 20 – Gladys Knight
March 21 – Lee Brice
March 22 – Dwight Yoakam
March 23 – Turnpike Troubadors
March 24 – Kevin Fowler
Visit the Live Music Page on the Rodeo Austin website for information regarding smaller shows.
Exhibitors from across the United States make their way to Austin each march to show their animals at the Rodeo Austin Stock Show. Fairground admission grants fairgoers access to each show. You can see a few of these shows at Rodeo Austin:
- Junior Livestock Show: More than 6,000 youth will compete in this 8th largest Junior Liveshow Show in North America. Competitions include Market Steer Show, Market Barrow Show, Market Lamb Show, Market Goat Show, Market Poultry Show, Junior Breeding Heifer Show, and 4-H/FFA Livestock Judging Contest.
- Open Livestock Show: The Boer Goat Show and Texas Longhorn Show are part of the Open Livestock Show. Winners are ranked based on visual appraisal as breeders compete for Grand Champion, giving producers the opportunity to exhibit the quality of their herds.
- Horse Show: Both the AQHA Youth Show and Gold Stirrup fall into this category. The AQHA Youth Show allows younger members to compete for all-around awards in a one-day show. Horseback riding is a form of therapy often used to strengthen muscles, improve balance, improve concentration, and build self-confidence in special needs individuals, and Gold Stirrup is a show for riders with special needs.
- Avenue of Breeds: Local farms and ranches gather their best animals to display at Rodeo Austin in this educational display of livestock. The most popular event is always the hatchery, where you can watch chicks hatching from incubating eggs. All livestock is cared for by the official show veterinarians and staff.
This family-friendly fair is open from March 10-24, and offers the city’s largest carnival with shopping, food, shows, and special attractions. Fairground admission grants access to the following:
- Carnival: More than 60 rides and games await at Austin’s largest carnival. Passes are $35 for unlimited one-day rides or $75 for the season, and can be monitored with Magic Money. Hours of operation:
Saturday, March 10-Sunday, March 18: 11 a.m-close
Monday, March 19-Friday, March 23: 4 p.m.-close
Saturday, March 24: 11 a.m.-close
Closing time is subject to change.
- Shopping: Fairground shopping opens daily at 10am and Mezzanine shopping opens one hour prior to the rodeo.
- Food: Chow Town is located outside the Rodeo Arena and offers everything from cotton candy and corn dogs to turkey legs. Magic Money and/or credit cards are accepted.
- Kidstown: The most popular destination for the whole family, Kidstown has expansive petting zoos, pony rides, and photo opportunities with saddled longhorns.
- Wild West Show: Tomàs Garcilazo wows audiences with roping artistry atop his horse daily at 1:15pm, 4:15pm, and 6:15pm. Dynamite Dames perform gravity-defying tricks in the saddle daily at 12:15pm, 2:15pm, and 5:15pm.
- Pig Races: Swift swine racing for the prized Oreo cookie daily at 10:45am, 11:45am, 1:45pm, 3:45pm, 5:30pm, and 7:30pm.
- Taste of Texas: HEB and the Texas Department of Agriculture partner to feature rotating local vendors and products. Open daily 12-6pm.
- Texas Longhorns: Iconic Texas Longhorns Desperado, Peaches, and Cream graze on the field next to the Wild West Tent. Photo opportunities are available for a small fee from 10am-8pm.
Bands, Beer, and BBQ are celebrated at this two-day event which boasts a BBQ cook-off competition. BBQ Austin-goers can enjoy access to the carnival and fairgrounds while enjoying live music, BBQ, beer, and fireworks to end the night. Purchase tickets through Rodeo Austin.
In an action-packed list of events, top competitors compete in Rodeo Austin in the hopes of winning a Champion title. Rodeo events include:
- Bareback Riding: 8-second ride atop a bareback horse scored with points for rider and animal.
- Steer Wrestling: Riders chase after a steer and wrestle him to the ground for the fastest time.
- Mutton Bustin': Young cowboys and cowgirls bust out of the chutes aboard a sheep and hold on for as long as they can.
- Team Roping: Contestants work together for the fastest calf roping time in the only team event in rodeo.
- Tie-Down Roping: Each rider lassos a calf and ties his legs for the fastest time.
- Saddle Bronc Riding: The rodeo's original event. Riders get 8 seconds atop a saddled horse scored with points for rider and animal.
- Barrel Racing: The only ladies event in rodeo. Each cowgirl runs a cloverleaf barrel pattern for the fastest time.
- Bull Riding: Cowboys attempt to stay atop a bucking bull for 8 seconds.
Embrace the spirit of Texas at Rodeo Austin 2018. There’s no better way to spend a spring weekend as a family or with a group of friends than exploring the fairgrounds, learning about livestock, enjoying authentic rodeo events, and listening to live music from artists across America.