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Houston Livestock Show and Rodeo’s Texas Trail Ride Sets Sights on Bayou City

A colorful procession of horses, covered wagons, and spirited cowboys and cowgirls is en route to Houston as part of the cherished Texas Trail Ride tradition, marking the imminent arrival of the Houston Livestock Show and Rodeo. The journey commenced on Sunday, Feb. 18, as riders embarked from various corners of the Lone Star State.

Originating in 1952 with four intrepid men riding from Brenham to Houston to promote the Houston Livestock Show & Rodeo, the Texas Trail Ride has evolved into a grand spectacle, drawing over 3,000 participants of all ages. Spread across 11 trail rides, each steeped in tradition, riders traverse vast distances on horseback, in covered wagons, and diverse vehicles, converging on Houston from different starting points across southeast Texas. Notably, the Mission Trail Ride, tracing its path from Mission Espiritu Santo in Goliad State Park to Houston, adds a historical flair to the annual event. The diverse groups are set to convene at Memorial Park on Friday, Feb. 23, before embarking on the grand procession downtown to kick off the Rodeo Houston parade.

The downtown Rodeo Parade, a spectacle cherished by Houstonians, is slated for Saturday, Feb. 24, from 8:30 a.m. to 2 p.m. Featuring an array of floats, spirited marching bands, horseback riders, and trail ride wagons, this year’s parade will see Buc-ee’s CEO Arch “Beaver” Aplin III as the grand marshal. The iconic Buc-ee’s beaver mascot will join forces with “Howdy,” the beloved rodeo mascot, to lead the procession through the bustling streets of downtown Houston.

For eager spectators eager to catch a glimpse of the trail riders as they enter Houston city limits, inner-city neighborhoods offer prime viewing spots on Friday. In recent days, camps have been sighted in Tomball, Dayton, and Crosby, hinting at the impending arrival of the spirited entourage. As riders converge into Memorial Park from various directions on Friday afternoon, spectators can position themselves strategically along Memorial Drive and South Picnic Lane for optimal viewing. With the excitement building up, Houstonians eagerly anticipate the festive atmosphere and colorful spectacle brought forth by the Texas Trail Ride tradition.