Hats Off to Texas
During our recent trip to Forth Worth, Texas, we stopped by The Stock Show to take in the multitude of sights, spectacles, rides (and smells) of this famous event. We began by visiting some of the livestock exhibitions where we found finely groomed and manicured Happy Cows. They looked like they just came back from a Day Spa! We then proceeded to the Bunnies, where we found seemingly hundreds of breeds, large, small, spotted, fat, lazy, perky…perhaps the numbers grow as the show goes on (Rabbits, you know)
The show also features an Exhibition Hall where Vendors showcase their wares, ranging from John Deer Tractors, A-Frame Cabins, Texas Fishing Adventures, Red-Neck Spill Proof Wine Glasses (Mason Jar mounted on a Wine Glass Stem, sealing top included to prevent spills!) to Cowboys boots and of course Hats. We were fascinated by this Wall of Hats that seemed to go on forever. These are the highest quality and are steam fitted on location – very cool!
The Southwestern Exposition and Livestock Show, known commonly as the Fort Worth Stock Show and Rodeo is the oldest continual running livestock show and rodeo. It has been held annually in Fort Worth since 1896. In 1918, the Stock Show held the world’s first indoor rodeo, and in subsequent years has been responsible for several milestones in the sport of rodeo. The Stock Show has provided millions of dollars in grants and scholarships from in its tenure and continues to provide hundreds of thousands of dollars annually to assist the future of agriculture and livestock leaders.
It is now held every year between January and February. The event lasts 23 days and is home to the World’s Original Indoor Rodeo, displaying 36 performances of professional rodeo annually. In addition, the exposition offers a carnival/midway, live music and entertainment in the Rodeo Roadhouse, multiple kid friendly exhibits, over 22,000 head of livestock and over four acres of commercial exhibits.
Annually, the event generates an estimated 1.5 million for the local economy drawing exhibitors and contestants from all over to the Fort Worth locale. An average of over 900,000 people attend the Show annually, representing more than 80 foreign countries as well as most U.S. states. Eighty-five percent of the show’s events take place under roof, reducing the effect of the Winter weather known to local Fort Worthians as “Stock Show Weather.” On average, the modern Stock Show has an economic impact of over $100 million for the Fort Worth area.
Initial Stock Show prizes consisted of gifts donated by Fort Worth area merchants. While this practice is no longer utilized, tremendous support from numerous breed associations, local Fort Worth businesses and many volunteer assist in raising cash amounts for livestock premiums. In 2009, a record $210,000 was awarded to Ricki Buckalew and her prize-winning European Cross Market Steer during the Sale of Champions. Millions of dollars are awarded annually to livestock and rodeo champions and participants.
This is a Must See if you are ever in the area!
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Thanks All Y’all
(Kathleen and Erik)