By Bill Dante
Former Texas Rangers Foundation, Chairman Of The Board
There are genuine, authentic and real cowboys and cowgirls for sure. Always has been and always will be.
But now there has been a major increase in everything western. That includes music, clothing, even buying your own horse and livestock and headin’ to the rodeo!
The word is that the western clothing industry, boots, hats, jeans and everything else western to wear, has had a major surge in sales due to the immense popularity of recent western-themed TV shows. It’s now four years after the premiere of the mega successful hit, TV series, “Yellowstone,” written by Texan, Taylor Sheridan, and starring Kevin Costner. The “Let’s be a cowboy!” mindset is stronger than you could ever imagine!
The cowboy way of life, work, fun and play was brought into main awareness and dramatically increased sales of everything western, including rodeo.
Last year rodeo tickets state wide and everything on the grounds showed great increases in revenue.
That means more money for scholarships, and that alone is great news!
So whether you’re a greenhorn or a direct descendent of five generations of Texas Rangers, it’s time to RODEO!!
There are two things in Texas that most Texans agree upon. A major part of being a Texan is Friday night football in the fall, and the legendary Rodeo season in the winter.
The first indoor rodeo took place in Fort Worth in 1917 and that tradition continues this year with 31 days from January 13th to February 4th at Dickies Arena. In addition, as always, there is livestock, the carnival, lots of great food and of course the live entertainment with some of the best country recording artists. This year there will be John Michael Montgomery and Deana Carter to Texas’ own, Shane Smith.
The main objective, as always, is for the rodeo non-profit organization to continue to raise millions of dollars for educational scholarships and much more.
Let’s, as they say, mosey down IH 35 and head south to San Antonio. Rodeo dates are from February 9-26th.
Now there’s a reason, prior to Covid-19, that 32 million people visited San Antonio every year. In those numbers, 80%
came from within Texas. A Texans visit to “The Alamo City” seems to be a must, year in and year out!
If you are going to the 2023 rodeo in SA, then set aside a few days apart from the rodeo because there is so much to do in the River City.
Imagine Spanish charm, the romantic River Walk, strolling guitars, mariachis, historic missions, river barges and some of the best Mexican food, of course.
There are more than enough beer choices, and definitely one to try is their own Alamo Beer, and great margaritas. You don’t need to go south of the border and you don’t need a passport. Let’s not forget SeaWorld, Fiesta Texas and some of the best golf courses in Texas.
During the rodeo there is the 2023 Cowboy Golf Classic, held downtown at the Quarry golf course, giving you a chance and opportunity to play beside some of the best PRCA cowboys. There will be southern charm, great ambiance and breakfast and lunch included.
Wait a minute, started talking about everything you can do around San Antonio and need to remind you we are talking also about one of the best stock shows and rodeos in the entire state. Besides all of the great cowboy and cowgirl competitions, two hours prior to the musical shows, you may want to set aside a day to see a very special show on February 25th.
It’s the Mexican Charreada with horsemanship skills that go back to the 16th century. A true trip back in time and an incredible evening to experience. Keep in mind that rodeo comes from the Spanish word “Rodear,” and started with the Spanish ranchers.
It was the vaqueros, or Mexican cowboys, who introduced the rodeo to present day Texas.
Last year, there were approximately 24,000 exhibitors in livestock and horse shows at this rodeo. Plus, there is shopping, eating, drinking and dancing all under one roof. The music lineup is some of the best of the best! Legendary Ronnie Milsap, Tracy Bird, Keith Urban, Dwight Yoakam, Los Tigres and even Lynyrd Skynyrd just to name a few, will be there.
Check out the complete schedules attached to this article.
We’ve also included a few rodeo 101’s in the TEXAN MAGAZINE archives for those of you who are new to rodeo and need a little catching up! (Check out the issue, the one with the old barn and Texas flag on the cover, free online, at Texanmag.com)
Brush off your boots and hat and look your western rodeo best. You will certainly enjoy the 2023 rodeo in San Antonio!