If the rain shower at 5 p.m. made you think there wouldn’t be a rodeo, then you must be from some place else.
Because it quit raining Thursday, and Brown County had a rodeo — a fine one with riding, roping, wrestling and racing. The rain left its puddles in the seating areas of the box seat chairs, but pour off the water and cover the seat with a vinyl cushion, and folks were ready to watch a rodeo. The show went on with nary a sprinkle through the ladies’ breakaway. Then the weather issued a few teasing drops, but not enough moisture to put a damper on the night.
Opening night with its slack was expected to last past midnight or later. Tonight’s event gets underway at 8 p.m. and it will be followed by slack. The final rodeo performance is 8 p.m. Saturday.
Announcer Andy Stewart, back for his second time in Brownwood, and “glad to be back,” he said, got the crowd to “rise in your Justin boots and remove your Resistols” and thanked God “for the opportunity to take part in this great sport we call rodeo.”
And reminding folks “we live in the greatest country on earth,” Stewart asked them to leave off their hats while riders from the Andrews Rodeo Co. rounded the arena with the Texas and American flags.
The first rider to get dismounted involuntarily, it turned out, landed in the dirt for an event that didn’t offer any prizes. Miss Brown County Fair Association, Katie Campbell, took a tumble on her introductory ride, but got back on her horse, and rode back to the stall in what Stewart complimented as “true cowgirl fashion.”
“You lose your ride, you get back on,” Stewart said.
Of course the bronc riders don’t exactly get that option, but after 8 seconds most are ready to get off the horse — if they make it that long. And Thursday, with two bareback bronc riders and two ranch bronc riders in regular competition, none of the four did.
Tucker Hale, who’s 3 and will be 4 next week, gave a reporter a blue-eyed stare from beneath the brim of his hat and said his favorite part of the rodeo was the bulls and the horses.
Was he going to ride a horse in the rodeo when he gets bigger0?
“I’m going to ride the bulls and horses,” Tucker said.
Concessions with the fare of nachos, barbecue sandwiches, Frito pie, pickles and hamburgers, plus fries, chips and cold drinks, did a pretty stiff business before the show.
“We’ve been busy,” said Paige Goodwin, 10, helping out from behind the counter. “Our best seller so far is the barbecue sandwiches. We’re selling a lot of those.”
Stephanie Dodd, 16, and also helping work the concession stand said it was fun to help.
“But it would be more fun to be out there riding — or in the arena. I’m a barrel racer, but I’m not ready for this. We’re just going to watch.”
The traditional Brown County Rodeo parade is set for 10 a.m. Saturday, in downtown Brownwood. Also, this year’s rodeo dance starts at 8 p.m. at the Brownwood Coliseum.
Eli Young Band is providing the music. Tickets are available in advance at KOXE, Wendlee Broadcasting, Lone Star Screenprinting and Lone Star Promotional Products, TexasBank, Citizen’s National Bank, Scott’s Western Wear and the Brownwood Area Chamber of Commerce. Advance tickets are $15, and the admission price goes up $5 at the door. An additional $10 cooler charge is being added for those bringing their own refreshments.