Special to the Bulletin

Brownwood will be turning up the heat next week with the 45th annual Brown County PRCA Rodeo, its traditional activities and the third annual Spirit of Salsa Festival.

The traditional Brown County Fair Association membership barbecue will kick things off from 5 to 7 p.m. Monday at the Home Economics Building at the Fair Grounds. Non-members are welcome, and for the price of a membership ($20), they can eat to boot.

The first ever PRCA Rodeo in Brown County will begin on Thursday, July 24, which is “Tough Enough to Wear Pink” Night. For each person wearing pink, the Brown County Fair Association will donate $1 to the Susan G. Komen Foundation for the Cure. Rodeo events will begin at 8 p.m. Thursday through Saturday, July 24-26, at the Earl Q. Wilson Arena.

Downtown Brownwood will be the focal point of activities during the day Saturday, July 26, starting with sidewalk sales from 7 to 10 a.m. Shoppers then will want to find a good spot to watch the annual Rodeo Parade, which begins at 10 a.m.

The parade will start at the Brownwood Coliseum, move north on Baker, west on Fisk, north on Adams, east on Center to the courthouse, then back down Fisk to the coliseum. Along with the traditional riding clubs, antique vehicles and floats, several new entries are planned this year, including local businesses and even a group of longhorns.

Entries are still being taken. Call the Brownwood Area Chamber of Commerce for entry forms at 646-9435.

After the parade Saturday, Center Avenue will heat up with the third annual Spirit of Salsa Festival from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. Participants will be able to taste and judge a variety of salsas. Ticket price is only $3, which gets you a bag of chips and a judging card.

All salsa to be judged by the public will be made in commercial kitchens, with ingredients approved by the FDA to prevent any health concerns. Amateur entries into the salsa festival will be judged by a pre-selected panel. Salsa entry forms may be obtained from downtown merchants, the Brownwood Area Chamber of Commerce or online at www.VisitBrownwood.com.

Downtown Brownwood Inc. (DBI) will provide live music, raffle items donated by downtown businesses, salsa dancing demonstrations and a “So you think you can salsa dance?” competition.

Raffle tickets may be purchased for $5 from participating DBI merchants beginning this Friday and continuing through Saturday, July 26. Good Samaritan Ministries is partnering with DBI to provide cold drinks, hamburgers, hot dogs and sweet treats to soothe “hot” tongues on a hot day.

Weekend events will wrap up Saturday night at the Brownwood Coliseum for the Rodeo Dance with headliner Wade Bowen. Sunday Canyon, a local band, will kickoff the evening’s entertainment. Doors will open at 8 p.m., and tickets are $20 in advance or $25 at the door.

Advance tickets can be purchased in Brownwood at KOXE, Scott’s Western Wear, TexasBank, Citizens National Bank and the Brownwood Area Chamber of Commerce.

For more information on all of these events, call the Chamber or visit the events calendar at www.Visit