Arts & Culture

Houston rodeo hosting committee showcase for prospective volunteers

Saturday’s free event at NRG Park will provide information about the 17 committees seeking volunteers for the 2023 Houston Livestock Show and Rodeo, scheduled for Feb. 28-March 19.

Houston Rodeo Mutton Busting
Lucio Vasquez / Houston Public Media
A mutton-busting event is held at the Houston Livestock Show and Rodeo on March 9, 2020.

The Houston Livestock Show and Rodeo, seeking volunteers for 17 committees that help put on the annual event, is hosting a committee showcase on Saturday at NRG Park to recruit prospective helpers from around the region.

The free showcase is scheduled for 10 a.m.-1 p.m. Saturday in the 300 Series Rooms on the second floor of NRG Center, with free parking available in the orange lot at NRG Park. Aspiring volunteers must be at least 21 years old and must be registered as rodeo members, which costs $50. Attendance at the showcase does not guarantee a role on a committee, according to a Friday news release from the rodeo.

Houston's annual rodeo, which returns Feb. 28-March 19 at NRG Park, started in 1932 and now utilizes more than 35,000 volunteers on a total of 100 committees. Volunteers have dedicated more than 2.1 million hours toward the rodeo and its outreach programs over the years, according to information on rodeohouston.com.

"Rodeo volunteers know that dedication to this organization goes beyond a time commitment – it's a way of life," the rodeo says on the volunteer page of its website.

A spokesperson for the rodeo said time commitments vary by committee, with some completing their work ahead of the rodeo and some requiring volunteers to work 2-3 shifts during the event.

Saturday's event will provide information on the 17 committees that have openings. Following is a rundown of those committees along with some of the functions they serve:

Agriculture Education: Develops curriculum and provides educational demonstrations on a year-round basis, teaching agriculture education and awareness at Houston-area schools and other educational venues.

Communications & Special Services: Helps to publicize the rodeo by judging contest winners and photographing calf-scramble participants, along with conducting on-site surveys about audience demographics and entertainer preferences.

Corral Club: Operates all Corral Club facilities, including enforcement of the rodeo's responsible alcohol management program, along with hosting other rodeo functions. Committee members are involved with auctions and receptions, event support, ticket sales and the Chute Club.

Directions & Assistance: Responsible for the care of lost children, the operation of the lost-and-found room and distribution of rodeo day sheets and visitor's guides, along with providing information and directions to attendees and exhibitors.

Facility Services: Supervises cleaning staff and contractors to maintain the rodeo grounds, including the carnival, horse show and livestock show.

Gatekeepers: Ensures the proper entrance of rodeo visitors, along with verifying access through entry gates and serving hospitality functions.

Houston Metro Go Texan: Includes representatives from Brazoria, Chambers, Fort Bend, Galveston, Harris, Liberty, Montgomery and Waller counties to increase event awareness through Go Texan functions and help raise money for rodeo scholarships. Subcommittees hold cook-offs, dances, golf tournaments and style shows, among other events.

Midway Ticket: Serves guests in the carnival midway, selling carnival tickets along with staffing ticket booths and self-service kiosk areas.

Rabbit: Organizes and conducts the rabbit show, setting up show facilities, obtaining trophy donors, assisting the show judge and receiving and cooping the participating rabbits.

Recycling: Handles the rodeo's recycling program, which recycles thousands of pounds of aluminum, cardboard and plastic.

Rodeo Express: Assists with the flow of bus and light rail traffic at NRG Park as well as off-site parking locations, monitoring and directing bus traffic and guiding passengers.

Rodeo Merchandise: Promotes the event through the sale and distribution of branded merchandise, staffing merchandise booths along with contributing product ideas, identifying sales venues and working with other committees to fulfill needs for branded items.

Rodeo Operations: Works with the building and grounds departments at NRG Park to help with setup, operation and teardown.

School Art Auction: Conducts the auction along with pre-selling winning student artwork, planning and hosting buyer and pre-auction parties as well as distributing winning prints to pre-sale buyers.

Speakers: Hosts the annual Rookie Boot Camp for new volunteers, along with promoting interest in the rodeo by offering speaking services to local schools, service clubs and business groups to share information about agriculture, education, entertainment and Western heritage.

Transportation: Handles the transportation needs of guests within the grounds of NRG Park, utilizing carts, trams and automobiles. Duties include daytime and late-night shifts.

Wine Garden: Hosts guests and manages the operation of the Wine Garden throughout the rodeo.

For more information, including about applying to become a volunteer, visit rodeohouston.com.

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