Austin Star of Texas Rodeo
Austin Star of Texas Rodeo
Austin Star of Texas Rodeo
Austin Star of Texas Rodeo
Austin Star of Texas Rodeo
Austin Star of Texas Rodeo

Star of Texas Fair and Rodeo
Austin, Texas

When: March

Where: Travis County Expo Center in Austin

Perhaps nothing symbolizes the Lone Star state quite like the cowboy. Self-made men at one with the land they loved, the mythic Western way of life is remembered annually at the Star of Texas Fair and Rodeo, an Austin-area tradition since 1938. Following is a roundup of some of the activities held during the 16-day fair:

Rodeo Events: Eight seconds on the clock mark the bravery of the bareback rider, who is judged on his spurring skill, much like in the saddle bronc riding competition, considered the hallmark of the true cowboy.

Horse lovers will also enjoy the equine elegance of barrel racing, in which rider and horse become synchronized souls as together they maneuver around a series of barrels at top speed, and the annual horse show a dignified display of English and Western riding at the Travis County Expo Center Show Barn.

For a show of sheer strength nothing beats steer wrestling, a test of wills between bulldogger and bovine, and cowboys pair up with their equine partners in the arena as they chase down calves in the team roping and tie-down roping events.

Culinary Events: The aroma of sizzling sausage, pigs in a blanket and brisket wraps lures early risers to Auditorium Shores for the annual Cowboy Breakfast, a tasty way to tempt rodeo enthusiasts to the capital city for weeks of festival fun. This free event has been deemed the "Best Place to Rustle Up Some Grub" in an Austin Chronicle poll.

Tip your ten-gallon hat in a tribute to the Old West, the Chuck Wagon Cook-off. Both faithful renditions of the portable food purveyors and authentic wagons from yesteryear are utilized in the event, which pits chef against chef in a creative cooking competition.

For a taste of true Texas fare, mosey over to the South Fairgrounds, where ribs, brisket and beans from 50 cooking teams are on the menu during a three-day barbecue battle.

Carnival: From the top of the Ferris wheel tufts of cotton candy carried by festival attendees below resemble the clouds overhead as you look out over the fairground attractions. Hit the target and win a prize at one of the many game booths, then ride the bumper cars and the Crazy Mouse.

Entertainment: Both homegrown and international performers are showcased throughout the festival. Over the years, the rodeo has welcomed such chart-toppers as Kenny Rogers, Destiny's Child, Nelly and Trace Adkins to the arena stage.

Children's Activities: Mutton Bustin allows Lone Star little ones between the ages of five and seven to get in on the action. Donning protective helmets before their six second ride on a sheep, every child has a moment in the spotlight and is rewarded for their effort with a bandana and a buckle.

Texas teens take center stage in the calf scramble, and active tykes 12 and under can sign up for the Kid's Rodeo Rumble 1K, a shortened version of the adults Sunrise Stampede 5K. A fiddle contest lets musically-minded minors shine, while kids can showcase their culinary skills in the children's edition of the Chuck Wagon Cook-Off.

For More Information:

• visit Star of Texas Fair and Rodeo site Texas Travel Guide on Facebook

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