The Houston Livestock Show and Rodeo set an attendance record this year with 2,262,834 total visitors including a single-night record of 150,948. That same night, the rodeo recorded its third highest paid attendance of 73,825 to see Brad Paisley. The World's Championship Bar-B-Que Contest set its own record with 244,184 visitors.
Unfortunately, one of those visitors was killed in the final two hours of the carnival Sunday night when he fell from the Hi-Miler roller coaster. Officials are still investigating.
Despite that incident and the recent article in the Wall Street Journal criticizing the rodeo's more genteel approach, there is no denying that this year's event, which includes the rodeo, the carnival and the Livestock Show, was wildly successful.
"There are so many variables regarding attendance, from the weather to the economy, but we continue to excel by creating an exciting, innovative, fun, affordable place for friends and families to enjoy," said Skip Wagner, president of the Houston Livestock Show and Rodeo.
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The numbers didn't surprise Hair Balls given the fact that light rail cars packed like sardines whizzed past us on a nightly basis. Yee haw, indeed.