Founded in 1947, the Humble Rodeo was organized by a group made up of local businessmen, community residents, oil field workers, cattlemen and a few cowboys. Little did they know at the time what a tradition they had begun. It was originally known as the Humble Fat Stock Show and Rodeo, with the first arena located near the corner of First Street and McKay Drive. This young organization was incorporated the next year with “a two-fold purpose: (a) to work with and assist the FFA and Vocational Agricultural Department of the Humble Schools, and (b) to advance and promote agriculture, commerce, industry, civic interests and citizenship in Humble and trade territory.” Membership quickly grew to more than 50 participants that included not only Humble residents, but also members from Aldine and the surrounding countryside.
In the early years, two-day rodeos were held in May, and the high school FFA boys held their annual fair at the same time. The rodeo membership organized an auction, and all animals shown were sold to the highest bidder. The horses, calves and bulls for the rodeos were bought or owned by the members, or leased from various cattlemen who were usually also members. During some years, summer Saturday night rodeos were held. From the mid-’50s to the mid-’60s, the organization held a four-day youth rodeo every August, awarding saddles and buckles to the winners. Beginning in the mid-’50s, Ed Harris was hired to produce the rodeo performance. Memorable events included a grand entry, clown Bo Bland and his bucking Ford, Bud and Bud the Hooper Twins performing real country music, and a wild cow-milking contest, where a team of three had to catch and milk a cow using a small Coca-Cola bottle as a container.
In 1958, the organization purchased 10 acres from Ellis Herron located on Wilson Road near today’s transportation center. The members of the organization secured a $7,000 loan and built a new arena where three-day performances were held in the spring, along with the fair. In 1997, the Humble Rodeo moved to the Humble Civic Center. The organization donated the Wilson Road property to the Humble Independent School District, which continued to produce the Rodeo and fair until 2000. There was no rodeo the following year. In 2002, the Humble Rodeo was re-established, the Cook-Off competition was added, and concert performances soon entered the mix at both events. The Humble Rodeo & BBQ Cook-Off continues to coincide with the Humble ISD fair and auction, and all proceeds benefit the Humble ISD Foundation in its efforts to support innovative programs that increase learning opportunities for students at all 42 Humble ISD schools. It’s a storied tradition of supporting the ever-growing Humble community.