MERCEDES — Cowboys and cowgirls from across the Valley buttoned up their shirts, buckled up their belt buckles, pulled up their boots, put on their cowboy hats and hit the livestock show and rodeo.
Some of them competed with their farm animals, many watched the parade or just went to have a good time on the livestock show grounds all day, every day for the 10-day event.
Here are the top 10 reasons everyone loves the livestock show.
1. The animals are for sure the long-sanding attraction to the perennial event — from the rabbits to the lambs to the steers. On bucking bulls, cowboys ride for the longest 8 seconds of their lives.
Those are just some of the many animals people from all over come to see.
2. The food is the second best thing many people are attracted to. Ram’s BBQ tacos have become a favorite to those who attend with an empty stomach. But before Ram’s, the livestock show was famous for selling turkey legs. It was an all-time favorite. The corn in a cup and the spiral potatoes have become a new hit over the past few years.
3. The rides, including the Ferris wheel and the Zipper, bring many thrill seekers year after year. The thrills keep getting bigger and bigger and faster. Young and old have their share of rides to choose from with height and speed that can make any rider’s belly drop in excitement.
4. The games are a must. You can’t play them all, and it’s almost impossible to win every time. But the prizes and the smiles when the livestock show goers win can last a lifetime.
5. The entertainment is nonstop. There is no shortage of things to do for fun at the livestock show. The extreme Lone Star bikers excited large crowds every day with their high-flying stunts on bikes. Plus, the many side shows.
6. The cover girl contest is a longtime favorite as many young ladies from around the Valley have competed every year to be the next cover girl and the runner ups. Hundreds of girls have competed for the crown for decades.
7. The competition for many young students who show off their farm animals is stiff. Students work all year to compete in showing their animals. But not all of them go away winning a belt buckle or ribbon. It’s exciting to see the different sizes of cows and bulls. The community also gets a chance to participate by entering a float at the annual parade that draws spectators from across the Valley.
8. The rodeo brings some of the best cowboys to the livestock show every year for people to see the excitement of bull riders. The arena never fails to fill up for rodeo.
9. The tradition of it all may be the biggest reason so many people go back to the livestock show for all the family fun and entertainment. At the livestock show there are families who have been participating in the events up to four generations. And many keep picking up the tradition who have been attending the stock show since they were children.
10. The vendors come from far and wide to show off their merchandise to the masses at the livestock show. All kinds of sales people are selling their art, jewelry, custom brands and more that has people browsing and buying for days. For some vendors it’s the best selling week of the year.