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Family tradition, business corral together at Fort Worth Stock Show

The Fort Worth Stock Show & Rodeo will begin on Jan. 12.
Cristian ArguetaSoto
Fort Worth Report
The Fort Worth Stock Show & Rodeo will begin on Jan. 12.

Like many in Fort Worth, the stock show is a tradition for Steve Coburn and his family. It’s also big business.

His family’s company, Coburn’s Catering, has been providing barbecue, burgers, beer along with peanuts and popcorn since 1946.

“I started out selling peanuts and popcorn in the rodeo arena when I was 11,” said Coburn. “I’ve been doing it since then.”

Coburn is one of many vendors who depends on the Fort Worth Stock Show & Rodeo for a sales boost during the show.

“Some people think we’re just working for three weeks, but it takes a lot of time to get ready, hire the workers and then, after the show, there’s clean up and looking at what worked and what didn’t,” he said. He estimates that he spends at least two months on the show.

While the company has catered events all over town for decades, he still views the stock show as their company’s calling card and a way to meet people from outside the area.

“You see everyone here and you meet people from all over the world, that’s one of the great things about it,” said Coburn.

According to research from Visit Fort Worth, about a third of visitors to the stock show’s average of a million visitors annually come from outside Fort Worth.

Visit Fort Worth’s research indicates that more fans are staying after rodeo performances either on the grounds (to concerts and other events in the Will Rogers complex) or going to area restaurants instead of going straight home.

The 125th show in 2022 brought in $115 million dollars in direct spending, attracting 1.2 million people, according to a report the stock show made to the Fort Worth City Council on May 17, 2022.

In 2023, the stock show broke an attendance record, marking 1.27 million visitors and breaking the previous record set in 2020, organizers said.

This year, attendees will have some new nearby attractions to visit. Two new high-end hotels have opened in or near the Cultural District, John Goff’s Crescent Fort Worth and the Bowie House.

“This is big for the city and the Cultural District,” said David Walters, senior vice president for real estate firm CBRE. “These are both luxury hotels that will draw a lot of visitors from all over the world. I think that’ll add another layer of panache to that area.”

If you go Fort Worth Stock Show & Rodeo

When: Jan. 12 through Feb. 3

Where: Will Rogers Coliseum, Dickies Arena

What: The Fort Worth Stock Show & Rodeo is the oldest continuously running livestock show and rodeo. It has been held annually in Fort Worth since 1896.

For more information:

Bob Francis is business editor for the Fort Worth Report. Contact him at 

Disclaimer: Visit Fort Worth COO Mitch Whitten sits on the Board of Directors of the Fort Worth Report.  At the Fort Worth Report, news decisions are made independently of our board members and financial supporters. Read more about our editorial independence policy here.

This article first appeared on Fort Worth Report and is republished here under a Creative Commons license.