Going to the rodeo is a time-honored tradition for many families. Some people go to watch bull riders, while others just love the spirit of comradeship they find among other rodeo-goers. There’s no wrong way to enjoy the rodeo, but planning the perfect trip does take some preparation. Read on to find out how to get started.

Buy Tickets in Advance

It used to be the case that rodeo-goers could get in early and buy tickets at the gate. In the digital age, though, those who want to go to the rodeo should expect to buy tickets in advance online if they want to guarantee that they’ll be able to get in.

Learn About Attractions

Every rodeo is a little different. Some feature only the most traditional events, while others have everything from saddle bronc to wild donkey relay races. It’s usually possible to learn about the attractions and find a schedule online. Be sure to see if there are any additional events like concerts and tailgating parties because nobody wants to miss the fun.

Expect Some Traffic

Rodeos are big events, so there’s almost always a lot of traffic coming and going. Getting in early is a good idea for anyone who wants to tailgate, as is planning to leave trucks overnight when visitors take advantage of a rodeo’s BYOB policy.

Leave Banned Items at Home

Every event is a little different when it comes to what people are allowed to bring. That said, all official rodeos have event security, so visitors should think twice about what they plan to bring and leave any banned items at home. That list might include not just obvious things like unauthorized weapons but also glass containers, liquor, and other less-than-obvious items.

Sign Up Participants in Advance

Want to take part in the rodeo? Most people go to at least a few of them as attendees before jumping on a horse or a bull and entering the ring, but for those who want to jump right in, registration is usually open in advance at local events. Check with the rodeo staff or take a look at the event website to find out how to register.

Be Considerate of Others

Everyone loves a good rodeo, especially when it also involves some good old-fashioned tailgating fun. That said, no one loves dealing with the one person who needs to bring a refrigerator-sized cooler or take up an unreasonable amount of space that could otherwise be shared by everyone. BYOB doesn’t have to mean bringing multiple 30-racks of beer and a giant cooler, so try to keep things a little more reasonable.

Bring an ID

Everyone who enters the rodeo grounds should bring a valid form of identification. At events that allow alcohol consumption, IDs are always checked at the gate so that people can be assigned the right wristbands based on whether they’re over or under 21. At most rodeos, law enforcement will also be present, so don’t even think about drinking underage.

Get Excited for a Memorable Day

People visiting the rodeo for the first time shouldn’t be nervous. Rodeos are meant to be fun, inclusive events that bring communities together and give all the participants and audience members a chance to enjoy themselves with friends and family, so the last preparation tip is simple. It’s OK to get excited for what’s going to be a fun and memorable day.

By Manali

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