“I used to play down at Coggin Park / And old Lions Stadium. / Man, there’s some memories, too. / There’s Camp Bowie and the depot / And fishing the Pecan Bayou. / It means so much to me. / How does it feel for you? / It feels like home to me.”

— From the original “Feels Like Home To Me” by Brian Jordan, written for the premiere

Brownwood Reunion Celebration in 2001

The countdown has begun. The 12th annual Brownwood Reunion Celebration kicks off Friday, and so far all indications are, organizers say, the event will be bigger and better than any previous.

For the most faithful Reunion volunteers and participants that may just be a “breeze” quote.

Bigger? Well, success will build on success. Logically, the three-day festival is expected to get bigger.

But better? If something’s already great, does it matter that it’s better?

Still, said Kim Peterson, now in her second year as Reunion director, the 2012 Reunion deserves the “bigger and better billing.”

The enthusiasm state-wide and beyond is palpable, Peterson said. While the concert headliners – Rick Springfield on Friday and Wade Bowen Saturday – certainly had the committee enthused, Peterson said word is people are coming from all over – “to Brownwood, Texas” – to attend the concerts.

“And we’ve heard from their faithful followers, wherever these guys go, they put on a great show,” Peterson said. “That is so exciting.”

Regular ticket prices for Brownwood Reunion Celebration are $15 and are available at Brownwood Area Chamber of Commerce, KOXE, Wendlee Broadcasting, Brownwood Music, Early Chamber of Commerce or online at CelebrateBrownwood.com. For more information, call the Brownwood Area Chamber of Commerce at (325) 646-9535.

But, as the name might imply, the concert headliners – great a magnet as they are – are only the headlines. The real story to the Reunion Celebration is that in its 23-plus blocks of activities, there is a little something for everybody. From barbecue cook-off, to carnival rides, corn tubs and children’s activities, a petting zoo and pony rides, walls to climb and bungee cords to bounce, contests and activities, plus an amazing food court, there literally is something for everybody.

Peterson said the “Hands on a House” contest, 5 and 10K run and seem to have peaked this year.

“The 114-vendors is a significant increase over any years past,” she added.

The first Brownwood Reunion celebration in 2001 was unique for the community and is recognized as the first worldwide reunion (via webcam) held anywhere. It is considered to be the “brain child” of Roy Spence, a 1968 Brownwood High School graduate and the “S” of GSD&M.

In the 11 celebrations since, the event has grown and evolved as one of the best festivals in the state. Conservative estimates are that over the three days of festivities some 25,000 people will be a part of the events downtown, with 150,000 reached virtually.