The Brown County Rodeo breaks out of the gates Thursday with its membership dinner, but annual patrons may notice something missing this year.

Due to the annual Brown County Rodeo Parade falling on the same day as Early High School’s graduation, officials will forego the event but have plenty of additions to fill the void in its absence.

“The parade is something that is unfortunate, especially because the last two years have been rained out and we had to cancel it that Saturday morning,” Rodeo Organizer Brent Moseley said. “We really hated canceling it again this year, but Early High School is graduating that morning in the (Brownwood) coliseum and that is where we line up. There is nothing we can do about it, but I promise you next year we will have a parade.”

In its 55th iteration, there will be a slew of new attractions this year including the Brian Patton, also known as the Clown 

Misfit Cowboy, and his trained Texas longhorn Roscoe Brown, the Concho Chicks Drill Team, who will perform a patriotic entrance and famed bull rider Dale Brisby, also known as the 90-point legend, will return this year. 

The kids will get into the fun this year with nightly mutton busting and a goat roping show at 2 p.m. Saturday. Moseley said each night of mutton busting is limited to 30 riders so parents should sign up early.

“It’s near and dear to my heart, but I think agriculture is important in today’s industry,” Moseley said. “It gives the kids hands-on experience. Some of these kids may have never seen some of the animals that will be there, much less touch one. A lot of kids do not have an opportunity to get that in their day-to-day lives. We really need to inspire our young generations to be involved.”

Other attractions include an appearance by Miss Rodeo Texas Tianti Carter and the grand entrance Thursday night featuring 2018 Brown County Rodeo royalty with Brown County Fair Association Queen Courtney Jowers, Junior Miss Henslie Hohertz and Princess Taylor Simpson each taking a lap before the festivities.

Another new attraction this year will be the introduction of the rodeo marketplace, which will feature venders with mostly homemade products. Brown County Rodeo Board Member Katy Kuhl hopes the additional foot traffic from the marketplace will inspire people to visit the rodeo grounds.

 “We’re going to try to push more clothing, jewelry and homemade items,” Kuhl said previously. “It’s just a lot of variety for people to be able to come out and shop. Our goal is to try and get a variety of people out there. We feel like the market days will push more people out to the arena and get more people involved. There will be a variety of activities and not just the rodeo.”

With the rodeo launching its first foray into retail sales, Kuhl said she received a strong response from venders. She credited that response to a $50 fee for each lot, which she believes is reasonable.

“We’re going to have them out there on Friday and Saturday,” Kuhl said. “We’re going to have it open on Friday from 3 to 7 p.m. and on Saturday from 10 a.m. to 7 p.m. That is a lot of time for people to experience the rodeo and shop.”