If you’re going to the Stock Show, you’ll want the full experience. Follow the hats.
The first time I went to the Fort Worth Stock Show my Pop had to lift me onto the pony ride. I’ve been every year since.
Technically, it’s known as the Southwestern Exposition Livestock Show and Rodeo. It’s been around for 123 years, making it the longest continually running event of its kind. Prior to 1978, it was known as The Fat Stock Show. This was because plump, fattened livestock was a good thing – at least until leg warmers and fitness clubs arrived. Nearly a million people attend the Stock Show over its three-week run, and they come from more than 80 countries around the world.
And all those folks gotta eat.
In case you’re not straight on your bearings, the Fort Worth Stock Show is not held in the Historic Fort Worth Stockyards. Originally it was, but it moved to the Will Rogers Entertainment Complex generations ago. You’ll find a ton of exhibitors, attendees and assorted denizens who head up to the Stockyards, as it’s only about 10 minutes away. Plenty of authentic Cowtown dining there, including H3 Ranch, Los Vaqueros, and the venerable Cattlemen’s Steakhouse.
You can also find a ton of yum on the grounds at Will Rogers Memorial Complex. Some of the finest restaurants in town are represented. Reata, best known for its fabulous Sundance Square location downtown, operates two seperate restaurants at the Stock Show – including the celebrity-studded Reata Backstage overlooking the rodeo arena. There are food courts and concessions galore. But if you’re looking for a great meal off the grounds nearby, here are the places we longtimers might suggest: