The historic Stock Show and Rodeo in Fort Worth, Texas is one of the oldest and largest stock shows and rodeos in the United States. Beginning in 1896, it still draws thousands of people each year. The Rodeo component of the event was the first ever indoor rodeo, and the Stock Show showcases millions of dollars in livestock. The Fort Worth Stock Show and Rodeo was inducted into the Pro Rodeo Hall of Fame in 2008.
Starting in 1896,
the Fort Worth Stock Show took place in March on the banks of Marine Creek in
Fort Worth, Texas. 1910 was the first year that the newly named Southwestern
Exposition and Livestock Show became a major event, with a fashion style of heeled
boots and “western” wear becoming a marquee trademark of the event. The first
official rodeo began in 1918, with bull riding beginning in 1920. 1938 was the
first year that the event was broadcasted on the radio, with national
television broadcasts beginning in 1958. 1944 was the first year that music
performers actively put on shows, which are now common for all major rodeos:
Gene Autry was the headliner. The Fort Worth Stock Show and Rodeo was inducted
into the Pro Rodeo Hall of Fame in 2008.
The Fort Worth
Stock Show and Rodeo was the first indoor rodeo ever. It started in 1918,
inside Cowtown Coliseum in the Fort Worth Stockyards. This impact cannot be
understated, as it allowed rodeos to happen regardless of the weather, which is
often poor in North Texas, especially in the spring. Being indoors allows the
event to continue regardless of what is happening outdoors; be it blizzard,
tornado, or thunderstorm; the event continues. And this event is hugely important for the city of Fort Worth, as it is the showcase of what the city of Fort Worth is known for, The Stockyards.
Currently, the Fort Worth Stock Show and Rodeo takes place from late January to early February. They have different music artists perform each night after the different shows and rodeos, and these shows always draw large crowds that often sell out the arena. The Stock Show and Rodeo represents the continuation and immortality of Western and Cowboy Culture, as this lifestyle continues to play a major role in the societies of the American West.