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Mayor Parker launches rodeo preparations proclaiming “Go Texan” Day 2014

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On Tuesday, Feb 5, Mayor Annise Parker, joined by the executives and vice presidents of the Houston Livestock and Rodeo Show at City Hall, proclaimed Friday as “Go Texan Day” the official start of final preparations for the Houston Livestock and Rodeo Show. The Rodeo Choir opened the program with a stirring rendition of the National Anthem.

Traditionally, Houstonians wear cowboy style boots, hats and jeans to work on Go Texan Day. But many more preparations are finalized behind the scenes. Hundreds of Texans ride horseback from all over the state for up to 3 weeks to convene in Memorial Park on Go Texan Day. From the Park, riders get ready to participate in the downtown Rodeo Parade, and from the Parade, the convoy to Reliant Stadium for the Livestock and Rodeo Show lasting about 3 weeks.

In addition to the horses, wagons, longhorn steer, and other livestock, some 27,000 volunteers complete training, orientation, and practice taking on the persona of 19th century historical characters. It can take over an hour just to walk from the parking lots on the west side of Kirby Drive to the east side of the Reliant Convention Center, passing the Stadium and carnival grounds and the old Astrodome. Some practiced discussions in character at the presentation and membership booths on Tuesday. Sponsors including BP and Telemundo mingled with saddled steer, live goats, a cattle driver, and great ladies of the past decked out in their finest.

Withinn the grounds, about a half dozen “Clubs” of volunteers help staff the event, paying dues and providing their own cowboy gear. All the clubs then contribute to the “Coral Club.” The dues go to cover some of the costs and support the many scholarships offered to Texas students.

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