2022 Houston Livestock Show and Rodeo parade signals return of long-awaited festivities

Many across our area couldn't wait to dust off their cowboy boots and two-step down to the 2022 Houston Livestock Show and Rodeo. The 90th-anniversary celebration comes after the popular event was shut down after its start in 2020 and complete cancellation in 2021.

"It's good to be back outside; it’s a good experience, making memories," says Houstonian Olivia Johnson.


After taking a year off, the chill in the air did not cool down the widespread excitement for the three-week-long event’s return.

"If you hadn't gotten your ticket, get your ticket, and go out and enjoy," says Houston Mayor Sylvester Turner.

The mayor was out Saturday morning as the rodeo parade pulled in an estimated crowd of around nine thousand to downtown Houston.

It was hats on and masks off for most watchers after the COVID-19 threat level was dropped to orange two days before the event.  

"It's exciting, getting over the pandemic and getting back to normal. I think it lifts up the spirits," says parade-goer Marlin Sparks.

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Thousands of trail riders also converged downtown after recreating the days-long journey to spread the word about festivities throughout the Old West. Their parade appearance signals the official start of the rodeo's 90th-anniversary celebration.

Texas native Cody Johnson also made his return. His 2020 performance was canceled once the rodeo was shut down after someone who attended the annual cook-off tested positive for COVID-19.

Two years later, the country music star rode along as Grand Marshal of the parade ahead of his opening night concert at the NRG Stadium Monday.

"When the Texas A&M band starts and your horse starts spinning around, you think, "I'm about to get bucked off in front of everyone in Houston, Texas," laughs Johnson. "Thankfully, I didn't!"

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A herd of 5K and 10K Rodeo Run participants also ushered in the big comeback, helping to get the Houston Rodeo back in the saddle.

"I don't know where you come from, what religious affiliation you might be, everybody at this time will put on their hats, their boots, their jeans and enjoy some good barbecue," says the mayor.

To hear more from Cody Johnson, tune in to FOX 26's Rodeo Special airing Monday at 9 a.m.