Tuesday, March 24, 2009

Another Blue Ribbon at the Houston Livestock Show and Rodeo

For the third year in a row Galveston/Mainland has gone home with a blue ribbon from the Houston Livestock Show and Rodeo Quilt Show -- this year on one of my customer quilts. I'm pleased to say that I've been involved with these ribbon winners since 2007 when another one of my customer quilts not only won a blue ribbon but also best of division and then in 2008 when my personal quilt won a blue ribbon. The ribbons are not only important to us as quilters, but to our local "Go Texan Committee" because the more ribbons they win in various categories the more scholarship dollars to our area youth.

The Houston Livestock Show and Rodeo has been in existence since 1932. I remember growing up here in Houston in the late 60's early 70's and attending the rodeo in the AstroDome - pictured here on the right. Things have a way of changing and now the rodeo takes place in the Reliant Stadium and surrounding buildings. This photo was taken from the old AstroWorld bridge. We parked in the area that once housed this fabulous family amusement park. Alas, it's now a thing of the past, only memories -- but good ones!

Ten years ago our family worked the Houston Livestock Show and Rodeo, then a 17 day event, for the first time in the Ben & Jerry booth hand dipping that wonderful frozen concoction for hours upon end. We had one of the longest lines in the food court! The boys were 11 and 14 and we had been "special event" vendors for all of a month prior to this experience (having just come off Speed Weeks in Daytona) -- what would become a lifestyle for almost 4 years. Our "neighbors" were Yoakum Packaging Co -- wonderful memories of trading out ice cream for turkey legs or chicken on a stick! Our daily food, and we were thankful for it! We also worked the rodeo in 2000 and 2001 and were blessed with the same good neighbors. After that we changed vending companies and moved on to other events. But every year since when we visit the rodeo we make a point to eat our meal and try to say hello to our friend Glen who owns the company. Best rodeo food guaranteed! This year we talked about our grown kids! My ten years has a way of sneakin' past ya' mighty quick!

Now that the kids are grown it's not quite the same wonder and amazement to go to the rodeo, but it still brings out the kid in me and I wanted to see the animal follies, the barnyard, watch kids on the pony rides, etc. there's so much to see and do that it really takes more than a day, but one day was all we had, and it was the last day of the now 20 day event. I took in as much as I could!

I tried to capture some of the fun on film, and do have several photos in my webshots -- one of each and every quilt in the quilt show (of course) some of the baby pigs, and a few of some of the shopping. Everything from cowboy hats, to instant tattoos -- if I'd of had an extra $20 I would have bought one of the "sleeves" and teased my son about getting tattooed. (These were like hosery that you could slip on either your arm or leg and appear to be covered in tattoos) He keeps saying that one day he's going to take me to his favorite tattoo artist and get me a little butterfly somewhere. Nope. Nada. Ain't happenin. Anyway, they even have boot shining stations, places where you can have your photo made with a bull, and all sorts of fun stuff for families and the young at heart-- so check out the rodeo photo album on webshots

The last night of the rodeo is the Xtreme Bull riding event and believe me, it's exciting! I even enjoyed the part of standing in line to get into the stadium -- something about the 'behind the scenes' stuff fascinates me, guess it's all those years being behind the scenes as a vendor -- or perhaps it stems back to our homeschooling days and me being the field trip momma -- just love seeing things from a different view point. Check out the photo album and you can see the gal with the cotton candy ready for the gates to open or the crowd making their way into the stadium for the rodeo and afternoon concert by ZZ Top.

Yep, I'm sure there were lots of folks most eager to see ZZ Top. Seems the stadium holds some 69,000 and I think there were 64,000 in attendance. We had the nose-bleed section cheap seats. That's what happens when you don't get your tickets quickly. But it was okay, they have those big screens that help you to see things better (grin).

Fun story about ZZ Top. They are "local" -- and actually played at my husband's high school back in the early 70's before they made it big. Billy Gibbons lives right'cher, just a few short miles from our humble abode on the bay. I've never met him of course, but I do like to be the tourist guide and point out his house to the out-of-towners. My hubby has been next to him on the highway, and Sunday afternoon we were two of the 64,000+ fans!! So that's gotta count for somethin'

Kinda dark, but that's the stage below the big screens. It was better in person, trust me.

All good things must come to an end, and before you knew it, it was dusk and time to make our way back home. I really enjoyed myself. Enjoyed the animals, purchased my event pin (I collect event pins) bought hubby a nice t-shirt, ate the best baked potatoes with chopped BBQ, had a big pretzel and lemonade (we used to vend these too, so that was sorta nostalgia) and got to hear a concert with one of my hubby's favorite bands. Couldn't ask for anything more....well, I did miss out on the Ferris wheel and having some cotton candy...but it's always good to leave something undone so you'll have something to look forward to next year!

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