The Brown County Rodeo has a 44-year tradition, but the 45th annual event will have a couple of “first time ever” distinctions.

For the first time in Brown County history, the rodeo, scheduled for July 24, 25 and 26, will be a PRCA competition.

“Our entries may be down a little in number this year — we don’t know that, but it’s a guess with the price of fuel and diesel — but on any one of the three nights, folks are going to get a good show. There will be a whole lot of names people are familiar with, and they’ll get to watch them in our arena right in Brown County,” said Terry Edgar, the rodeo steering committee chairman for the Brown County Fair Association.

Edgar said that like last year, Sammy Andrews would be the stock contractor, but with the PRCA designation, he’ll “bring his PRCA stock.”

“We can guarantee three great nights of rodeo,” Edgar said, “so folks can come out for a great show, and support the Brown County Fair Association.”

Actually, Edgar said, people will have the opportunity to support two “great causes — the Brown County Fair Association and breast cancer awareness and breast cancer research.”

This year, also for the first time, the Thursday night performance has been designated “Tough Enough to Wear Pink” night. For every “ticketed” person entering the gate on July 24, who is wearing anything pink, signifying the awareness of breast cancer, the Rodeo Steering Com-mittee has committed to donate $1 to the Susan G. Komen for the Cure headquarters in Dallas, explained Jessica McInnis, chair for the Miss Brown County Fair Association committee.

“It can be pink anything,” McInnis said, “cap, blouse, ribbon — anything.”

To show their own support, all the members of the steering committee will be wearing pink Wrangler shirts from Scott’s Western Wear, McInnis said, explaining that Wrangler was one of the original sponsors who got on board for this cause several years ago.

“Brown County’s not the first place, by any means, to go with the ‘Tough Enough To Wear Pink,’” Edgar said. “We’re just jumping on the band wagon, like everyone else.”

“I think it is admirable that the rodeo association is stepping up in this way to bring awareness to a disease that touches so many people every day,” added McInnis. “I think the audience will be impressed by the number of real cowboys who are ‘Tough Enough to Wear Pink.’”

According to McInnis, the committee teamed up with Brown County Farm Bureau and will be selling pink “Tough Enough” products at the barbecue July 21. Specialty items will include wristbands, bandannas, visors, Koozies and lapel or hat stickers, all reasonably priced. And, McInnis said, all of those proceeds will be contributed to the Susan G. Komen for the Cure as well.

Rodeo performances are at 8 p.m. each of the three nights at the Earl Q. Wilson Rodeo Arena and tickets are $9 for adults and a reduced price for children. Sponsorships for signs at the arena are still available, and for more information about a sponsorship contact any member of the BCFA or the rodeo steering committee. Funds raised at the rodeo go toward the support of the Brown County Youth Fair held each January.