Strap on your spurs and cinch up your latigo, the 2018 Houston Rodeo is almost here! The massive event is set to saddle up later this month, and whether you’re there for the bronc busting, goat tying, good food and even better music, there’s truly something for everyone. Not sure where to start? He’s a list of our favorite activities.

Parade and Rodeo Run

Before the festivities even begin there has to be a kickoff event, and the fun run and parade are just the way to do it. First get some exercise and take the kiddos along for a 5K or 10K (or both, if you got the calves for it), with proceeds going to the scholarship fund. Following the fun runs that anybody can take part in, all of the bigwigs and community shows off their stuff in a parade right in the middle of downtown Houston.

Wine, Food and Barbecue

When you are fixing to watch some cowboys and cowgirls saddle up to undertake the age old struggle of man vs. beast, it’s best not to do it on an empty stomach. Your first stop should be to check out the Rodeo Uncorked RoundUp. Now when most people think of rodeo wine probably isn’t the beverage that comes to mind, but the RoundUp should put that misconception out to pasture as thousands of wines are submitted each year to be judged. After checking that out, why not sample some food from the 100 or so restaurants in the area who are also there to compete for the crown? Of course when in Texas you have to eat barbecue–it’s probably illegal not to. The World’s Champion Bar-B-Que Competition features the best brisket, chicken and ribs you’ll find anywhere, all cooked on wood fire–no electric, gas, or propane and propane accessories allowed.

Listen to the Top Acts and Up-and-Comers

Another mandatory stop is to check out some of the music while you’re there. With 20 nights of shows at NRG Stadium, you are sure to find something you like. This year, you can see long-time stars like Garth Brooks, Blake Shelton, Luke Bryan, Rascal Flatts and Zac Brown Band, as well as relative newcomers like Alessia Cara and Thomas Rhett, plus few international stars such as J Balvin and Calibre 50.

In addition to big name stars, local Houston acts will strut their stuff at the Stars Over Texas Stage. Come check them out before they get so big you can’t get in! As if that wasn’t enough, the Rodeo Rockstar Competition is entering its 6th year and is open to amateurs and professionals alike. After watching (and participating in, if that’s your style) some music, head over to the Hideout for some real life honky tonk action and shake your badonkadonk.

Take in the Sights and Festivities

As the title suggests, there is a livestock show where you can go see some of the top cattle, goats, sheep, chickens, and other animals up close and personal. In addition to livestock, there is a wildlife experience where you can learn all about native wildlife and environmental issues–particularly poignant with Houston coming off of a nasty hurricane season that damaged the city. Animals not your thing? Questioning why you’d be at a rodeo if that’s the case, but why not check out the carnival which is full of games, rides and more food.

Watch the Top Pros Compete for More Than $2 Million in Prizes

Some 280 of the top riders and performers in the sport are invited to compete for more than $2 million purse money. Run bracket style, you can watch champions from across the country compete in events such as steer roping, breakaway roping, saddleback riding, and of course bull riding. There are also plenty of youth events, with older kids participating in a calf scramble and kids as young as five getting in on the fun with some mutton bustin. The best part is that the Houston Rodeo takes great pride in making sure the safety and health of the animals is respected, and they are treated as fellow athletes rather than mindless beasts, so you can watch with a clear conscience.

Want to head to this year’s Houston Rodeo? Shop tickets here on SeatGeek.