The Southwestern Exposition and Livestock Show, also called the Fort Worth Stock Show and Rodeo (FWSSR), is held in Fort Worth, Texas every year. It typically takes place in January and February. The Will Rogers Memorial Center serves as the venue for the event.
It was first held in 1896 and has been running every year since then. This makes it the oldest rodeo and livestock show of its kind in the country. After the tremendous success of the first event, added attractions like a parade and tents for the animals were included.
In 1904, a company was set up to see to the yearly production of the event. It is a non-profit organization that provides scholarships and grants to promote better agricultural practices and livestock management.
Visitors from all over the county travel to Fort Worth to experience the horse and livestock shows. They can enjoy featured events like the Best of the West Ranch Rodeo, Bulls Night Out Extreme Bull Riding, Best of Mexico Celebraciõn, and the Cowboys of Color Rodeo. There are also plenty of kid-friendly games and activities, delicious food, shopping, and live music from emerging local artists.
You’ll need a General Admission ticket to access the stock show grounds. This does not include admission to the rodeo events. General Admission tickets cost around $12 for adults and $5 for children between the ages of 6 and 16. Discounts are offered to senior citizens above the age of 65. Rodeo passes are priced at $30 (gallery seating) and include admission to the grounds.
There are special days like Dickies Day and Military Appreciation Day when discounts and complimentary passes are available to eligible patrons. For more information and updates, check out the Southwestern Exposition and Livestock Show website.
The Fort Worth Stock Show and Rodeo happens at Dickies Arena with some stock show activities at the Will Rogers Memorial Center, a large 85-acre complex. Depending on whether you’re there for the stock show, livestock exhibitors, or horse events, it’s a good idea to enter through the corresponding entrance. Detailed directions to the different gates are provided on the official website.
Paid parking is available for cars on the grounds of the Will Rogers Memorial Center. In case the onsite parking lot is full, you can park at the offsite lot. The organizers offer a shuttle service called the Rodeo Redline from this lot to the main entrance of the stock show. ADA parking spaces will be available at the venue. RV motorists will need to plan to park at a campsite in the area and then utilize a tow vehicle or other means to reach the rodeo grounds and stock show sites.
You can get to the venue locations using the bus system operated by Trinity Metro. Buses are frequent and affordable. The closest bus stop is walking distance from the grounds. There is a designated pick up and drop-off zone for patrons who opt for rideshare services.
Onsite camping is not available for rodeo attendees at Dickies Arena or the Will Rogers Memorial Center (exhibitors only). You’ll need to book a spot at one of the RV parks or campgrounds in the area.
The nearest RV park is less than five miles away from the venue locations, and there are a couple of other well-equipped options within a 20-mile radius. These are clean and well-maintained and come with amenities like full-hookups, laundry services, WiFi, and pool access. If you’re willing to drive further away, Cedar Hill State Park has sites with full hookups.
Wagons and strollers are allowed on the grounds, but they must be checked in before entering the auditorium or coliseum during a scheduled event. There is a designated area where you can drop them off and claim them after the show. The venue is accessible, and patrons with disabilities can use wheelchairs and mobility scooters. However, these are not available for rent.
Get into the spirit of the rodeo by dressing in a western shirt, jeans, and cowboy boots. Cut-offs and t-shirts are also a popular choice. Finish your look with a big silver belt buckle. Opt for warm fabrics and make sure your shoes are comfortable enough for the entire day. You may be in a warmer area than some, but winter can still be cold in Texas.
Take a small bag or backpack with sunscreen, hand sanitizer, wet wipes, and a portable charger. Don’t forget your camping essentials like batteries, flashlights, and a can opener. You’ll need a jacket for the daytime and warmer clothing and blankets to stay comfortable at night. Carrying some rain gear is also recommended.
Before starting on your trip, check if any road or weather alerts have been issued in Tarrant County or the surrounding areas. Avoid leaving any valuables in your car, and make sure you lock it before exiting the parking lot. It’s a good idea to keep a well-stocked first-aid kit in your motorhome. Outside alcohol, firearms, and drugs of any kind are not allowed at the rodeo grounds.
Nothing beats a hot, campfire cooked meal after a long day at the rodeo. Before lighting your fire, be sure to check the RV camping rules of your chosen campsite. Some campgrounds and RV parks don’t allow open fires if a burn ban is in effect, so always have a backup plan. Bring easy to prepare meals that you can whip up on the stove in your RV.
Whether you’re in the mood for a quick coffee or an elaborate three-course meal, there are plenty of options to choose from close to Will Rogers Memorial Center. Be sure to try the chicken fried steak, shrimp nachos, and some of the best burgers in town. You’ll also find plenty of great dining options at the Historic Fort Worth Stockyards, about four miles away.
Fort Worth Stock Show & Rodeo organizers work with local chefs and caterers to offer a wide selection of food and drinks to guests. Some of the must-try dishes are the eggplant Parmesan subs, charbroiled rib-eye, tortilla soup, and cinnamon rolls. On weekends, barbecue buffets are offered, which are a huge hit with visitors.
All bags and belongings will be checked by security guards at the entrances. Staff members will also be patrolling the grounds and can be flagged down if you need assistance. Patrons will want to avoid carrying any prohibited items into Dickies Arena or the Will Rogers Memorial Center as these will be confiscated at the gate.
The Fort Worth Stock Show & Rodeo will go on rain or shine. If the weather turns unexpectedly severe, some of the scheduled shows may be called off or postponed. In such cases, no refunds will be given. Updates are put up regularly on the event’s social media pages. Be sure to check these before getting dressed for the day.
Basic first aid will be available at the centrally located medical station on the grounds. ADA support and information can also be found here. Medications and other medically necessary items will be allowed in with proper prescriptions and labeling. These must be cleared by security personnel at the gates.