The Houston Livestock Show and Rodeo is an annual event steeped in tradition. It’s the highlight of the year for many, but it can be anything but that when you’re struggling with an addiction to drugs or alcohol. If you are actively in the grips of alcohol or drugs, a “good time” can quickly spin out of control. In 2019, there were over 500 DUI arrests at the Houston Rodeo.

For those in addiction recovery and attending the event this year, maintaining your sobriety is the number one priority. At this highly anticipated public event, alcohol and drugs are likely to be present. For some, it can be best for long-term sobriety to avoid it altogether, but for others, attending the Houston Rodeo with a plan to enjoy the many sober activities offered can make for a safe and joyful experience.

Navigating the Houston Rodeo in Addiction Recovery

The Houston Rodeo has a plethora of events to enjoy, many of which are centered on education, food and carnival activities. Get a full list of more options below and on the rodeo’s website.


In the “agventure” section, it’s all about agriculture. Almost every species of livestock will be found in this area. Witness baby animals being born in the birthing center, learn the traits of different livestock, watch honeybees hard at work (in a fully encased protective glass), see the process of milk being made, watch eggs and baby chicks hatch, take a pony ride and more.

Ranching & Wildlife Expo

Seminars and educational programs promoting the conservation and coexistence of ranching and wildlife habitats are held here. These programs might interest someone involved in hunting, fishing and camping, though speakers will talk on a wide range of subjects.


Enjoy various rides and carnival food such as turkey legs, corn dogs and cotton candy. You can see the rodeo from above in the Ferris wheel, which features air-conditioned cabins and padded leather seats. Other rides include the “Alien Abduction,” “Bumper Boats,” “Crazy Coaster” and more.


With over 300 vendors, you’re sure to find something you like in this section of the Houston Rodeo. You can peruse the list of rodeo vendors in advance and plan out which stands you’d like to visit. Vendors are selling jewelry, clothes (such as boots and hats), agricultural equipment and more.


Fair cuisine has become more elaborate, so go ahead and enjoy foods that have won awards such as “Best New Flavor,” “Best Dessert,” and “Most Creative Food.” With many options, there is something for everyone.

Make a Plan for the Rodeo

In addiction recovery, having a plan is one of the most important things you can do to have a better time at events. Think in advance about what activities you’d like to engage in at the Houston Rodeo and set a time limit for how long you will participate. Make sure you make time for meals and drinking water. Listen to your body and know your limits. You can talk to a therapist or sponsor in advance about your plan for the day. Let anyone you’re attending with know how you’re feeling so they can help support you.

Support for Addiction Recovery

Trying to navigate sobriety at an event is possible, but if you ever need extra help, know that PaRC (Prevention and Recovery Center) is here to fully support you. Our treatment program offers medically supervised detox, 12-step programming and evidence-based therapies for addiction — to help you take control of your life again, rebuild relationships with your loved ones and begin a fulfilling path to recovery. Our caring and supportive staff are here to support you as you navigate and overcome addiction. Our goal is to help you be successful in paving a new course for your life. Contact us today.