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MERCEDES — Leo the Bucking Horse opened his arms wide as the red cloth came away from the new logo.

The Rio Grande Valley Livestock Show and Rodeo this year is celebrating its 85 years of serving youth with a new logo, a second day of bull riding, and discount tickets for businesses.

The Livestock Show held a press conference Thursday on the show grounds to announce plans for this year’s event which will take place March 7 to 17.

“We are on the cusp of hosting the 85th annual diamond year in March,” said Luis Saldana, executive director and general manager of the livestock show.

The Rio Grande Valley Livestock Show unveiled a new logo on Thursday, Sept. 28, 2023, to celebrate its 85th anniversary. (Travis Whitehead | Valley Morning Star)

Livestock Show board members in blue shirts and straw hats made a fine appearance, as did firefighters and other first responders.

They applauded with great satisfaction as the new livestock show logo was unveiled, a dashing piece with the show’s declaration, “85 Years The RGV Livestock Show and Rodeo” in bold script tripped in white against a black background.

“I have been here with the city for four years, and this was amazing, having a new logo,” said Ruben Gutierrez, fire marshal for the city of Mercedes.

Firefighters are always an important part of livestock events.

“We have always worked with them, partnering,” Gutierrez said. “I go in and check the rides and vendors.”

The extreme bull riding has always sold out all its tickets for just a one-day event. That’s why the livestock show will add a second day of bull riding this year.

“It’s an event sanctioned by the PRCA,” Saldana said. “We have the best bull riding stock in the country. Some of the best cowboys across the country come to this.”

In celebration of its diamond year, livestock show will offer bundles of discounted tickets to companies wishing to give employees the chance to attend the event.