If you’re fortunate enough to be in the Houston area in March of any year you might want to make sure you plan time to attend the Houston Livestock Show and Rodeo which is one of the biggest events in the state. “The Rodeo” (as locals affectionately call it) is approaching its 80th year and 2010 attendance was a record 2,144,077 (which broke the record that was set in 2009). One of the biggest warm-fuzzies about the event is that it hands out scholarships to Texas teens and last year that financial commitment exceeded 12 million. That’s a lot of potential learning, wouldn’t you agree? In addition to the mainstay rodeo events like roping and wrangling, there’s a livestock show, a horse show, horticultural programs, ranching and wildlife exhibitions, and a “gigantic” western shopping mall to name just a few activities that’ll keep even the most rodeo-seasoned attendee entertained.And speaking of entertainment, one of the most anticipated highlights of the rodeo each year is when the event organizers announce the concert lineup for the almost three week event with a different headliner appearing every night. Past performers have included the likes of Elvis Presley and Lynryd Skynyrd; and the 2011 organizers have announced Sugarland, Janet Jackson, KISS, Tim McGraw, Rascal Flatts, Keith Urban, Kid Rock as part of this year’s lineup that will bring the crowd to their feet after each evening’s rodeo performance.Interestingly, the Houston Livestock Show and Rodeo doesn’t get talked about much outside the state of Texas (for reasons that absolutely escape me), but you’re going to have to trust me on this one if you want to experience a taste of “true Texas” you must include this on your itinerary since the benefits of the event are felt world-wide through the agriculture industry and education. Texans can be pretty boastful, and it’s just not clear why they don’t boast more about this stellar event.