To provide a safe and educational environment that promotes family, community and volunteerism. We strive to promote the youth of South Texas through leadership development, agricultural education, and competition with a goal of creating the leaders of tomorrow.
HISTORY OF THE SHOW
In 1939, the Rio Grande Valley Livestock Show and
Agricultural Exposition, the foundation of today’s Show, was organized as a
project of the Mercedes Chamber of Commerce. The first Show was held in 1940 on the grounds of a local livestock sales
yard with improvised pens and lean-to sheds. The Show continued to be held on this same property until 1949 when it
moved to its present location at 1000 North Texas Avenue in Mercedes.
In 1947, the Show was incorporated and chartered as a
non-profit educational organization with a Board of Directors representing the four southmost counties of Texas: Cameron, Hidalgo, Starr & Willacy.
Until 1955, all livestock was shown primarily in
tents. By 1979 all exhibits which were
once housed in approximately 12 tents were now in permanent building located on slightly
over 100 acres. The two most significant structures at that time were the Coliseum and Hog Barn. In addition, the neighboring high school football stadium was plowed under annually to serve as the host arena and grandstand for its annual rodeo.
In 2005, the Coliseum and Hog Barn were demolished and a
Multi-Purpose Event Center was built with the help of grant funding received
from the U. S. Department of Commerce - Economic Development
Volunteers from all walks of life including bankers, lawyers,
accountants, farmers, ranchers, business people, community people along with a dedicated Board of Directors, give
endless hours of their time to make the Show a success. Without the tremendous efforts of all the volunteers and Directors, it would be impossible to
produce the annual Show.
In 2023, the Rio Grande Valley Livestock Show distributed in excess of $1.7 million to FFA
and 4-H exhibitors. Over it's history, the Show has supported 4-H and FFA exhibitors with millions of dollars in financial support as part of its ongoing mission.
The Show has continued to grow each year and now ranks as
one of the top ten in the State. People
from all over Texas eagerly anticipate the event and come to enjoy the many
activities including a parade, rodeos, competitive livestock events and the
many, many attractions which are scheduled daily.