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. There was no rodeo the following years of 1998 or 1999, just the
Livestock Show. In 2000, the Rodeo was brought back to the Livestock Show by
Bodie Wagener per the request of the community and Humble ISD. Mr. Wagener,
brought in long time stock contractor Doug Butcher to help put on the Rodeo and
to make it profitable. The 2000 event was a success, & a new era began. The
Cook-Off competition was added in 2002, and for several years the Rodeo &
BBQ Cook-Off were held on the same weekend and concert performances soon
entered the mix. Eventually with the growth and popularity of the event, the
event was split into two weekends with the Livestock Show taking place during
the week between the two events. The Humble Rodeo & BBQ Cook-Off continues
to coincide with the Humble ISD Livestock Show and Auction, and all proceeds
from the Humble Rodeo & Cook-Off benefit the Humble ISD Education Foundation
in its efforts to support innovative programs that increase learning
opportunities for students at all 43 Humble ISD schools. It’s a storied
tradition of supporting the ever-growing Humble community.