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Houston Rodeo trailride (photo by Will van Overbeek)

From its humble beginnings in 1932 as a cattle showcase, the Houston Rodeo (Feb. 27-March 18) has evolved into a 20-day bonanza filled with the usual rodeo offerings like bull riding and steer roping, but with the addition of amusement park rides, deep-fried treats, shopping, and big-name headliners—this year, two-time Grammy winner Garth Brooks performs on opening night. The event ropes in big-city folk with a spirited parade featuring marching bands and floats through downtown Houston on Feb. 24.

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