Check your calendar and set aside some time between Jan. 13, 2012 and Feb. 4 when the historic Fort Worth Stock Show and Rodeo returns to Fort Worth for its 116th year. What better way to start off the new year than by cleaning your Stetson, grabbing your new cowboy boots and coat and heading down to the Cultural District for all things rodeo? It's often said that the indoor rodeo was born out of the Fort Worth Stock Show, created over a century ago.
Whether you're a regular attendee or a first-time visitor, we've prepared an essential guide that gives you a few tips on what to expect.
Save Some Cash
General Admission tickets will cost $10 for adults and $5 for kids 6-16. But if you're looking to save a little money, plan to go on "Dickies Day." On Jan. 17, anyone wearing Dickies apparel will get free admission. On Jan. 30, members of the military (active or retired) and their immediate families can receive free admission to one of two rodeos that day, either the 2 p.m. or 7:30 p.m. show. Rodeo Ticket Box Office agents will issue the free tickets after a military I.D. is presented while tickets last (agents began distributing tickets Nov. 28).
Visit the "MOO-seums"
Back by popular demand, stock show attendees can use general admissions or rodeo tickets to visit three museums in the area as part of the "MOO-seum" experience at no cost. The National Cowgirl Museum and Hall of Fame, Fort Worth Museum of Science and History and Cattle Raisers Museum are all participating. The partnership program also goes the other way. If you have a membership to either of the three museums, entrance to the Stock Show is free.
Watch Them Scramble
Imagine watching 16 teenagers scramble to catch and halter one of eight calves released into an arena. After that, they have to lead it across a finish line. With this year's event marking the 25th anniversary of the Calf Scramble, there just might be an added surprise -- so much excitement and exhilaration packed into a short time frame. But that's not the best part. The Calf Scramble Program awards scholarships to participating students. The eight winners of every round will receive a $500 certificate towards purchasing either a dairy heifer or beef calf to show at next year's Stock Show. Throughout the year, the students will maintain correspondence with their scholarship donor and take care of their animals. This gives them the opportunity to earn up to $4000 in scholarship while learning life skills. Last year, 72 students took home a total of $135,500. But the only way to watch the scramble is to purchase tickets to the rodeo, because they happen after the show.
That Big Main Event
So you've eaten your fill, walked it off, eaten some more and checked out the rodeo, what's next? The main event: the selection of the Grand Champion Steer -- usually sold and butchered right after the auction. Often the money is used by students for college tuition. Last year's Grand Champion Teddy, a 1,333 pound European Cross sold for $185,000, but Teddy didn't take the top-dollar in the show's history. The 2010 Grand Champion Steer, a 1,309 pound European Cross exhibited by Rikki Buckalew of Graham, Texas went to Larry White Jr. Investments for $210,000.
This year, the Stock Show has developed an app for iPhone and Android devices that provides information straight from the cutting horse's mouth and into the palm of your hand. Users can grab maps, directions, schedule of events, and more right on the app. You can find the app in the Apple and Android markets.
Plan For Parking and Walking
Public parking is available for $8 per vehicle in a number of parking lots. For details on where each lot stands, plus a downloadable map, head to the official FWSSR parking page.
Two park & ride shuttle services will be available on Saturdays and Sundays. For $2 round trip, the T's Stock Show Shuttle will take you to the front gate, pick you up there, and return you to your vehicle parking lot. 1,335 pounds The two parking lots available for this service are listed below:
- Ridgmar Mall (near Macy's) every half hour from 10 a.m. - 10 p.m.
- Billy Bob's north parking lot at the Stockyards every 20 min. from 10 a.m. - 10 p.m.
While many of the rodeos are indoors, walking from event to event occurs outdoors. January is typically the coldest and driest month in Fort Worth, so bring coats. Layers are always important and check our forecast to see if you need to bring your umbrella.
For additional information, you can always visit the Fort Worth Stock and Rodeo's website.