It’s Stock Show time – and the parade is back

Getting rady on the midway. (Photo by Amber Shumake)

The Fort Worth Stock Show & Rodeo made a successful return in 2022 after going dark in 2021 because of COVID-19, but there was one thing missing. Because of extreme wind gusts in the forecast, the annual parade kicking off the popular event was canceled.

The parade is back this year and while you might need a light jacket or, well, a windbreaker, the weather figures to be great when the parade gets rolling in downtown Fort Worth at 11 a.m. Saturday. The temperature should be in the lower 50s with no chance of rain and winds out of the south at around 12 mph – quite the contrast to the 50 mph gusts that forced last year’s cancellation.

“We’re very excited that the parade is back. Weather is going to be nice and we’re expecting a large, enthusiastic crowd,” said Matt Brockman, FWSSR communications manager.

“Although the parade is held on day two, many see it as the event that officially kicks off the Stock Show,” said FWSSR President and General Manager Brad Barnes. “With so much community participation, it’s understandable and we’re proud to put on a time-honored event for the Fort Worth community.”

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The parade route and ticket information can be found on the stock show website. Tickets must be purchased in advance.

The Stock Show & Rodeo’s onsite events at Will Rogers Memorial Center and Dickies Arena get underway today and run through Feb. 4, with more than a million visitors once again expected to pour through the gates for rodeo competition, livestock and horse shows, shopping, the carnival midway and a vast assortment of food and fun. Estimated attendance for last year’s return after the pandemic shutdown was 1,202,200, Brockman said

“The Western way of life currently has a steady wind at its back in many mediums, including television, social media and live entertainment,” Brockman said. “Call it the Yellowstone effect or whatever you wish, but much of society – at least in the South and Southwest – has caught on to it. What the Stock Show offers is an easy way to connect to it, regardless of whether you’re rural, urban, young or older.”

Brockman said that for many guests, it’s that one time of year to be around horses, livestock, rodeo and a trade show full of vendors selling items for the casual or serious cowboy or cowgirl. For those who come to exhibit and compete, it’s a package of well-organized events in what can be argued is the United States’ best venue for livestock and equestrian competitions.

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“When we say there’s something here for everyone, it’s very true,” he said.

More than 10,000 Texas 4-H and FFA youth exhibitors from about 230 of the state’s 254 counties will compete with hopes for show ring success and the chance to sell their livestock in the Jr. Sale of Champions. Millions will be up for grabs in auction proceeds, scholarships and livestock premiums.

Barnes noted the momentum for this year’s FWSSR got a boost last month when Stock Show’s Pro Rodeo Tournament was honored as Large Indoor Rodeo of the Year by the Professional Rodeo Cowboys Association (PRCA).

“The Stock Show’s website and the Dickies Arena box office has been busy with ticket purchasers, but there are still great values for rodeo performances so now’s the time to snatch them up,” Barnes said.

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Highlights of this year’s FWSSR include:

  • Rodeo returns to Dickies Arena where the top cowgirls and cowboys will thrill audiences, including world champions from the Women’s Professional Rodeo Association and the PRCA. There are 25 rodeo performances, giving fans numerous options to take in the sights, sounds and excitement of Fort Worth’s iconic celebration of rodeo action. Stock Show rodeos include the Best of the West Ranch Rodeo (Jan. 13-14), Best of Mexico Celebración (Jan. 15), Cowboys of Color Rodeo (Jan. 16), Bulls’ Night Out Xtreme Bull Riding (Jan. 17-18), Texas Champions Challenge (Jan. 19) and the FWSSR PRORODEO Tournament (Jan. 20-Feb. 4). Tickets information is available on the FWSSR website.
  • The Auditorium Concert Series presented by Ariat, includes popular country music artist John Michael Montgomery with Deana Carter, Jan. 13; iconic blues metal band Tesla, Jan. 14; comedian and Netflix star Brian Regan, Jan. 20; K-pop group Oneus, Jan. 27; Git ‘Er Done comedian Larry the Cable Guy, Jan. 28; legendary country musician John Anderson with Bryan White, Feb. 2; and alternative country band Shane Smith and the Saints, Feb. 4.
  • The FWSSR’s rich history of ranching is the centerpiece of the opening Ranching Heritage Weekend, also presented by Ariat, which includes not only the ranch rodeo, but horse show events focusing on the talents of the ranch horse. The FWSSR Heritage Sale, featuring horses consigned by the American Quarter Horse Association, Best of the Remuda Award recipient ranches and the Select Quarter Horse Sale, as well as the Invitational Ranch Horse Show and Sale are back by popular demand.
  • The rich diversity of the Stock Show and its deep Hispanic roots will be on display with the FWSSR Texas Invitational High School Mariachi Competition and two equestrian events – the Escaramuza and Charro Cala competitions. The Escaramuza women’s drill team competition now includes a youth component that awards winning team members a $2,000 scholarship. The Charro Calla will also feature a youth competition, and the champion youth will receive a $3,000 scholarship, while providing a $2,000 and $1,000 scholarship to second and third places respectively.
  • Horse lovers will also enjoy the return of the popular Mustang Magic competition, presented by Lone Star Ag Credit, as well as Mustang Showcase training clinics. Collegiate ranch horse teams from across Texas and Arkansas will be featured in “Bridles and Brains,” a test of both horsemanship and speaking skills, where schools will compete for their share of $7,500 in prize money.
  • Stock Show fans will want to add the Moo-seum experience to their calendars. Free access, courtesy of Central Market, to the National Cowgirl Museum and Hall of Fame, the Fort Worth Museum of Science and History, and Cattle Raisers Museum is available to all Stock Show guests. Among the activities available at these museums will be “Step into the Stock Show,” a joint effort with the Fort Worth Museum of Science and History. The collaborative curation combines artifacts, video and imagery provided by the Stock Show with the technologies used by the Museum of Science and History to give museum guests a unique look at both the history of the Show and contemporary livestock exhibition.
  • With acres of shopping featuring everything from fashion to farm equipment, there are plenty of chances to find that perfect thing for you or a friend. Family fun remains popular with the Mattress Firm Petting Zoo, Children’s Barnyard, Carnival Midway, Texas Farm Bureau Insurance’s “Doorways to Agriculture,” and the always popular Milking Parlor.
  • Food is always a favorite with fare ranging from corn dogs to cotton candy to the fine cuisine that can be found at Reata at the Backstage or Reata at the Rodeo. Visitors to the show can relax on Simmons Bank Plaza with a glass of wine at The Corkyard or enjoy a brew and some tunes in the Bud Light Roadhouse before and after rodeo performances at Dickies Arena.

For more information, visit the FWSSR website.