Parade, carnival, horse shows.
Things are ramping up at this year's Houston Livestock Show and Rodeo. Toby Keith kicks off the concert series Monday, which also features Mary J. Blige, Styx, Bruno Mars, Pitbull and others.
However, there's plenty going on even before then.
Let's start with 3,000 trail riders converging in Memorial Park Friday, getting ready for this weekend's big parade downtown where a former Cougar will serve as grand marshal.
"Kevin Sumlin was picked because he does have history in this town with the University of Houston," says HLSR President Skip Wagner. "Obviously he had a phenomenal year with Texas A&M, and the A&M band is our highlighted band this year, so he just seemed like a natural choice."
The World's Championship Bar-B-Que Contest already is underway, and Wagner says there are several other events going on this weekend as well.
"The whole carnival over on the bar-b-que side is open, all the games, food, all of that," he says. "We do have the horse shows going on this weekend, so anyone can go into Reliant Arena and watch some horse shows as well.
Many of the concerts already have sold 50,000 tickets or more.
"We will give away $25 million in proceeds to the youth of Texas based on last year's results," says Wagner.
The rodeo runs through March 17 at Reliant Center.