“I wanted to marry her when I saw the moonlight shining on the barrel of her father’s shotgun.”

— Ali Hakim from “Oklahoma!”

By Candace Cooksey Fulton — Brownwood Bulletin

You know it’s probably simply an historical coincidence that on just such a morning 172 years ago P.T. Barnum’s circus began its premiere tour.

“Say what?” You ask.

“It’s true.” We answer. On June 2, 1835, Barnum’s circus tour began.

So, yes, the next logical question is why didn’t today’s Saturday Spotlight begin with a P.T. Barnum quote. Well, because, when do you have a chance to use such a fine theatrical line like the one used above, and bring attention to the fact that — to mix a musical metaphor — on a stage right here in River City there is a performance of Rodgers’ and Hammerstein’s “Oklahoma!” (More, of course, about that later.)

But, old P.T. was a wise one, we’ll grant. It was he who spoke this very truth.

“Every crowd has a silver lining.” To which we might add, “so do some clouds.”

Now, everybody’s happy, or should be, and when you see the tremendous, stupendous, unbelievable line-up we’ve got for this very beautiful morning (“the corn … high … elephant’s eye”), you’re going to wish you had three rings to corral all the activities.

And now, ladies and gentlemen, please see what there is to do in our river city town.

Start with breakfast

It’s the first Saturday in June, and that means the bacon’s frying, the eggs are scrambling, the homemade biscuits are rising and the gravy’s thickening at the North Lake Brownwood Fire Department Harbor Point. Come and get it about 8 a.m. and make a donation to help out the department.

Texas Bluegrass Celebration

As good and sweet a harmony as you’d ever want to hear, and aren’t you lucky. It’s the weekend for bluegrass in Brown County. This year’s Texas Bluegrass Celebration features the Batten Family, Bluegrass Solution, Digger Davis & Tombstone, Joe Bass & Double Mountain Boys and the Mears Family — all fine Texas bands.

The festival originated five years ago as a fund-raising benefit for Brownwood State Park, but has since been taken over by the Early Chamber of Commerce, and some of the proceeds are turned over to the park.

Today, things get started at about 10 a.m., at the coliseum with a Gibson Flat Pickin’ Contest. For a $25 entry fee, the winner will receive a Gibson banjo that Parrack said she understood would be “top of the line.”

The bluegrass bands take the stage at 12:45 p.m., at the Brownwood Coliseum, starting with Bluegrass Solution and rotating bands about every 30 to 45 minutes with a supper break at 5:15 p.m. The music starts again at 6:45 p.m. going on until 9:45. There is a $15 admission charge for the day.

Garage sales galore

Good stuff, great causes, all at a price you can afford. Just about any direction you travel today, you’ll likely come upon a fund-raising effort with wares and wonderful things you’ll realize you really can’t do without.

So, when you’re out and about, check these out.

The Brownwood Art Association is holding its third annual garage sale, 8 a.m. to noon at the Brownwood Art Center, 215 Fisk Ave. A miscellany of treasures and collectibles, art supplies, furniture, dishes and antiques will be available. Primitive Baptist Church is holding a garage and bake sale beginning at 8:30 a.m. (until whenever) at 1515 Brady Ave. All proceeds will be contributed towards the church building fund. For more information or to make donation contact Glenna Brownlee at 642-6847 or Pat Johnson at 646-0854. St. John’s Episcopal Church, at the corner of Main and Depot Streets, is having its annual rummage sale from 8 a.m. to 3 p.m. And, if you missed breakfast at the fire department, these folks can fix you up with a genuine breakfast burrito. And don’t forget to check out the rummage sale benefit Starbuck’s is hosting for the Corrine T. Smith Animal Center. Not only can you rummage through the inanimate objects, the center’s bus, with adoptable animals will be on hand, and, pet owners can also purchase spay and neuter vouchers, or get their pet “micro-chipped.”

Farmers’ markets

The Brownwood Area Farmers Market, sponsored this year by Downtown Brownwood Inc., is open from 7 a.m. to sellout in the parking lot located in the 500 block of Brown, between Adams and Chandler streets. The City of Bangs is hosting a local farmer’s market, free to vendors and open Saturday mornings in the open area of downtown on Kyle Street.

Fish fry and auction

First Baptist Church — Lake Brownwood, 7100 Highway 279, is hosting a fish fry and auction to raise money for the church youth activity fund. The “all-you-can-eat” dinner will be served from 5 until 7 p.m. at the church. Tickets are $5 for adults and $3 for children. The auction will run from 7 until 8 p.m. A number of items will be auctioned off, including an autographed Willie Mays baseball shirt.

Various and sundry

New Way Narcotics Anonymous meets daily at 8 a.m., noon and 7 p.m. at 602 W. Commerce. For more information call 646-7777. The Lake Brownwood Lions Club, 6751 Highway 279, will host bingo at 1:30 p.m. The Lake Brownwood Lions Club, 6751 Highway 279, will host a dance from 6 to 10 p.m. Dance and listen to the music of George Allison and Friends. A snack bar will be open. No alcohol is allowed. Cost is $4 per person. The Rockin’ R Community Musical and Pot Luck Dinner is tonight beginning at 5:30 p.m. Location is on Highway 36, 16 miles from Comanche and 12 miles from Rising Star. For more information call (254) 842-5271.

“Oklahoma!”

The Lyric Performing Arts Company’s musical production of Rodgers and Hammerstein’s “Oklahoma!” continues at the Howard Payne University Theatre with two performances today — a 2:30 matinee and the second at 7:30 p.m. Tickets for “Oklahoma!” are $10 and may be purchased online at brownwoodlyrictheatre.com or at the Brownwood Area Chamber. Reservations may also be made by calling the Box Office at 649-8516.