PHOTOS: Houston Rodeo barbecue cook-off, carnival underway at NRG Park

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HOUSTON — It’s a time when everyone gets to be a Texan— the Houston Rodeo and Livestock Show! Houstonians and visitors alike headed to NRG Park late Thursday for the opening night barbecue cook-off, carnival and other activities.

The grounds were filled with patrons decked out in their swankiest western attire, and the air was seasoned with the smoky aroma of classic Texas-style barbecue coming from tents like Cox Media Group and the Pitmaker crew, who have created the ULTIMATE party zone.

And the best part…it’s only the beginning!