The earliest version of the rodeo is supposed to have taken place in Pecos in 1884. Most Texas events combine rodeos and barbecues with elements of the Spanish fiesta. These colorful events include Laredo’s Washington Birthday Celebration, a ten-day fiesta celebrated jointly with residents across the border in Mexico; and Brownsville’s costume festival, known as Charro Days, held during the week before Lent. Fiesta San Antonio spans ten days in late April. This major event includes art exhibitions, coronation of King Antonio, pilgrimage to the Alamo, concerts, band festivals, and three parades.
Many Texas festivals are associated with livestock auctions and state fairs. Each year more than 100,000 cattle move through the Amarillo Livestock Auction, one of the largest auctions in Texas, which is held weekly. The State Fair of Texas, held in Dallas during the fall, features prize livestock exhibits, horse show performances, and a huge midway. Livestock events also draw crowds to the East Texas Fair in late September, in Tyler.
Some annual events have a sports and recreation emphasis. A series of fishing competitions, including tarpon, billfish, and surf fishing tournaments, take place in Port Aransas from June to September. The activities of Dallas’s Cotton Bowl Week commence late in December and are climaxed by the New Year’s Day football game.
Other festivals in the state highlight the arts. The Houston International Festival each April celebrates the performing and visual arts with a ten-day outdoor festival of multicultural music, dance, arts and crafts, and food. Texas’s dramatic scenery serves as the backdrop for outdoor drama in several cities. Galveston brings musicals to life at Galveston Island Outdoor Musicals; the spectacular Franklin Mountains are the backdrop for open-air McKelligon Canyon Amphitheater near El Paso.
Major league professional sports teams in Texas include the Houston Astros and Texas Rangers baseball teams; the Dallas Cowboys and Houston Texans football teams; the Dallas Mavericks, Houston Rockets, and San Antonio Spurs basketball teams; and the Dallas Stars hockey team. The Babe Didrikson Zaharias Memorial Museum, near Beaumont, honors Zaharias, a leading athlete of the first half of the 20th century. The Texas Sports Hall of Fame is in Waco. "Texas" © Emmanuel BUCHOT, Encarta, Wikipedia.
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