This is probably the best known landmark in the Cultural District of Fort Worth. It is easily identified by the large Art Deco tower. Many performances and conventions are hosted here throughout the year. Probably the most famous one is the annual livestock show which draws hordes of visitors. The building is designed to reflect Fort Worth's western heritage. There are some murals to be found throughout the complex. Directly in front of the buildings is a tourist information area. Parking is usually not too difficult unless there is really a big even here. In that case, plan accordingly.
If your into history and horses then you must visit the rodeo when it is in town. Fort Worth has been hosting one of the biggest and best rodeos to see around in the USA. Will Rogers Memorial Center originally built in 1936 has some of the most beautiful art-deco architecture in the USA. The center covers over 100 acres with 45 of that undera roof with six show arenas, 13 livestock exhibits, cafeteria, veterinarian clinic, meeting rooms, auction arenas and so much more. It even is host to the Stock Show which is pretty impressive to see too!
On the 4th of July we became spectators at the 2007 World Championship Paint Horse Show--a competition attracting top notch horses from around the globe. It was a thrilling event!
The atmosphere was exciting; the horses charged up and ready to compete! We saw the 'Amateur Hunt Seat Equitation Over Fences' event, which was new this year. It's a mouthful, but was actually a jumping competition.
Other events were: showmanship, barrel racing, goat tying, steer stopping, heeling, heading, cutting, reining, walk trot, riding and other compeititions. These events were geared according to age groups or types: stallions, geldings, yearlings, etc.
We were permitted to explore the Equestrian Center, which allowed us to see the horses close up. These were gorgeous animals, but during the competition they were traveling at such a high speed that ALL MY PICTURES ARE BLURRY.
KID DAYS, scheduled on July 4th, featured lots of activities for children; a cowboy doing tricks on his horse and with a lasso and hands-on fun (picture 2). A large 100-vendor gift area offering Western gear and gifts was located nearby.
Lots of folk were duded up for the occasion! (picture 3)
If you are ever in town and hopefully at the right time. Make some time to come either watch a rodeo at the Will Rogers Memorial Center or down at the Coliseum at the Stockyards. They have events happening all year long. So there are always lots to see. It boasts as being the oldest stock show in America. It brings alive our Western Heritage and it one of the best entertainment for the whole family. It is a huge arena, so keep an eye on the little ones, they can easily get turned out and get lost. It's held each year from mid-January to early February in one of the best equestrian centers in America — the Will Rogers Memorial Center.
You may call the Stock Show office at 817-877-2420 beginning May 1 to request a Ticket Order Form. Ticket orders are filled on a first come first serve basis, giving you the best seats available at the time your ticket order is filled. This year the Will Rogers Memorial Center Rodeo Ticket Office opens on Monday, December 1 at 9 a.m. At that time you may pay for your tickets with a check (until January 1), cash, Mastercard or Visa. Also beginning December 1 you can order tickets at TicketMaster outlets.
Map if Area
The Will Rogers Memorial Center is an 85 acre complex situated in the middle of the Cultural Arts district. Two million people visit each year. We've seen some awesome events here!
The Southwest Exposition and Livestock Show held annually for three weeks attracts 800,000 of these people. We were part of that crowd this year!
Comprising the center are:
The Will Rogers Coliseum and Auditorium were erected along with the Landmark Pioneer Tower in l936 for the Texas Centennial. FYI: According to its website, the coliseum is the first domed structure of its kind in the world.
Equestrian Center-(picture 2) is a 215,000 sq. ft. building containing a show arena with 1,946 seats and a seat sale arena with 640 seats. Since many equestrian events are held here, there are permanent stalls for 843 horses.
Amon G. Carter Exhibit Buildlings
The center recently hosted the 2007 World Paint Horse Championships held at the John Justin arena, which is at the Equestrian Center. Horses from around the globe came to compete in jumping, roping, barrel racing, horsemanship and other events.
Amongst the buildings which make up the Will Rogers Memorial Centre is the Will Rogers Coliseum. This is the largest of the buildings, was constructed in 1936 along with the auditorium and Landmark Pioneer Tower. This was the year of the Texas Centennial and it was at the time, the first domed structure of its kind in the world.
The Will Rogers Memorial Center is a multi-purpose entertainment centre which spreads over 45 acres of some 85 acres of land. The complex sits right in the heart of the Cultural District.
A variety of entertainers have performed in the 2,856 seat auditorium including Jack Benny, Benny Goodman, Glen Miller, The Vienna Boys Choir and the Rolling Stones.
More photos in my Travelogues.