Yeehaw! San Antonio! It's time to rodeo!

More than 2 million people are expected to crowd the AT&T Center and the Freeman Coliseum grounds from Thursday to Feb. 25 for the 69th annual San Antonio Stock Show & Rodeo .

Cowboys and cowgirls of all ages can look forward to rodeo events, livestock and horse shows, concerts, carnival rides, shopping and of course, food!

Santikos Super Star Experience: Bid on rodeo and concert seating and benefit a local charity!

While everyone has their favorite events to look forward to, check out what's new at the rodeo this year:

Rodeo

Freestyle Bullfight Event: Bullfighters (sometimes referred to as rodeo clowns, but known as bullfighters in rodeo terms) will be put to the test for 70 seconds to impress the judges with their skill to outwit a 2,000-pound bull. Catch this action-packed event during the Xtreme Bulls performance at 1 p.m. on Feb. 24.

Attractions and Shows

Pompeyo Family Dog Show: The Pompeyo Family Dog Show is run by Jorge, a fourth-generation circus performer from Columbia, and Natalya, a Russian gymnast. After rescuing a few dogs and realizing they could entertain crowds with their new companions, they hit the road and joined a circus. They have been performing together for over 10 years throughout the U.S., Canada, and the Caribbean with extraordinary success. (Performing Feb. 8-13).

XPOGO Stunt Team: The XPOGO Stunt Team is always ready to perform high-flying tricks for fans all across the world. It has performed over 10,000 shows in 23 countries while earning 23 Guinness World Records. (Performing Feb. 14-19).

Chicago Boyz: The Chicago Boyz Acrobatic Team is a professional gymnastics troupe consisting of talented young men and boys from the Chicagoland area. The team's performance includes amazing acrobatic stunts and tricks inside twirling jump ropes, catapulting off mini trampolines and thundering tumbling routines with impeccable timing. (Performing Feb. 20-25).

Butterfly Encounter: Visitors will have an opportunity to be surrounded by hundreds of butterflies as they walk throughout the exhibit. You can learn about the butterfly life cycle, and there will be presentations on how to fix a broken wing.

Texas Longhorns 101: Texas Longhorns 101 is all about education and giving back. If running a longhorn ranch wasn't enough, the folks from the Cross T Ranch in Bandera find time to educate as many city slickers as they can about the beauty and grace of longhorns and country living.

Livestock/Horse Show: Junior judging contests are popular to Texas 4-H and FFA participants because of their value in terms of developing critical thinking and communication skills. A broad variety of contests are hosted each year at the San Antonio Stock Show & Rodeo to meet the diverse interests of our exhibitors. Exhibitors may compete as individuals or in teams in the following contests: Consumer Decision Making, Dairy Judging, Horse Judging, Livestock Judging, Meat Judging, Poultry Judging, Wildlife Judging and Wool Judging. This year, we are excited to add Floriculture to the junior judging contests.

Crossbred Gilt Show & Sale: Texas 4-H and FFA members will exhibit over 1,000 purebred gilts in the Junior Purebred Gilt Show representing eight of the most popular breeds in the U.S. swine industry. The breeds include Berkshire, Chester White, Duroc, Hampshire, Landrace, Poland China, Spot and Yorkshire. These 6- to 8-month-old gilts are shown within their breed by age. Class winners vie for breed champion honors. The breed champions then compete for supreme champion. Each breed has different characteristics that make them valuable to the industry. Gilts are judged on their ability to be productive sows.

Youth Rodeo: Since its debut in 2014, the Youth Rodeo has become the fastest-growing, most successful horse event at the San Antonio Stock Show & Rodeo. With over 1,000 entries annually, the competition features rodeo's brightest young athletes. In order to build upon the success of the Youth Rodeo, in 2018 we will also be offering rough stock events like Bareback Riding, Saddle Bronc Riding and Bull Riding. Also new in Horse Show is the Team Roping event on Feb. 17.

Performers

No matter what your favorite music genre is, the San Antonio Stock Show & Rodeo provides entertainment for everyone. Country stars Brett Eldredge, Rascal Flatts, Alan Jackson and Brad Paisley are just a few of the great acts you will see this year. If you are a classic rock fan, be sure to check out the Goo Goo Dolls and Foreigner. Making first-time appearances at the rodeo are J Balvin, Cam and LOCASH. For a full list of performers , be sure to visit sarodeo.com or the SA Rodeo app.

Shopping

The Shops at the Rodeo are home to over 250 themed retailers who come to show off their wares in three climate-controlled venues. Enjoy a shopping experience unlike any other from 25 new retailers that offer everything from home decor to fancy footwear for your horse. Don't worry, many of your favorite vendors will be returning with all your favorite items. Shops will offer home furnishings, accessories, leather goods, agricultural related items, equipment, custom boots, clothing and jewelry.

Food and Beverage

New additions sure hit the spot include fried baklava, falafel on a stick, barbeque parfait, Cracker Jack caramel sundae, venison burgers, gator tacos, Gringo's Mexican Funnel Cake and Waffle Chix. If you crave food that is uniquely Texan, grab some cornbread waffles topped with Texas red chili, cheddar, sour cream, onions and jalapeños at the Freeman. You can also enjoy Hatch Parmesan Dip and grilled sirloin steak sandwiches at the AT&T Center.

A crowd favorite, the Craft Beer Tap Room, presented by H-E-B, is back and ready to offer craft beers from breweries located throughout the state and live music. The tap room will be located next to the Wine Garden.

2018-rodeo-parking-map.pdf by David Ibanez on Scribd

Parking Options

There are three secured parking lots located off the rodeo grounds that will offer shuttle services. Gembler Lot is located a half-mile northeast from the AT&T Center. The shuttle from Gembler will drop guests off at Gate E inside the grounds. Wheatley Heights is a new parking lot that offers a 700-space, paved lot with a shuttle that will deliver guests to the front of the Freeman Coliseum. If you would prefer to park on the grounds, there are several lots available. Be sure to arrive early, for these parking lots are on a first-come, first-served basis.

SA Rodeo Mobile App

Made with the visitor experience in mind, the free SA Rodeo mobile app allows downloaders to receive the most up-to-date information regarding entertainment, ticket availability, attractions, shopping and exclusive deals. Check out the detailed list of events and activities for the day, personalize your schedule and find your way around the grounds with our interactive map. You can even put a pin on your parking space.

The San Antonio Stock Show & Rodeo is not only a crowd pleasure, but an award winner, as well. The rodeo has won the PRCA Large Indoor Rodeo of the Year for an unprecedented 13 consecutive times. Rodeo officials attribute the annual success to over 6,000 volunteers, who give countless hours to the organization. And not to forgotten, with community, donor and volunteer support, the organization has donated over $186 million to Texas youths through scholarships.

Be sure to watch "Good Morning San Antonio" from 4:30 to 7:30 a.m. for a live preview of opening day from the grounds at Freeman Coliseum.

We'll also be live on KSAT 12 News at Noon, KSAT 12 News at 5 and the KSAT Six O'Clock News.

Be sure to catch the latest stories, videos and slideshows on our rodeo section on KSAT.com.

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