“Lettin’ the cat outta the bag is a whole lot easier than puttin’ it back.” — Credited to Will Rogers, American humorist

By Candace Cooksey Fulton

Brownwood Bulletin

Just for kicks, maybe today would be a good day to list all the things we don’t expect to happen this Saturday. The list might be a mite shorter if we did.

Because, cowboys and girls and anybody else along for the ride, it’s rodeo time in Brown County and this is the biggest day of the whole shebang because it includes not just the rodeo, but a big parade downtown and a boot-scootin’ big dance tonight. In between, you’ve got the Salsa Fest and sidewalk sales (good deals start at 7 a.m.), a 3-D Bow Shoot benefiting Big Brothers Big Sisters and an organizational meeting for the Young Marines. And there’s plenty more, too, so much you’d be better off checking out the list, getting out and getting going. Do as much as you can, and enjoy it all.

Make it a good day, OK? It’s kind of like that cat and bag philosophy from Mr. Rogers. It’s a whole lot easier to start off with a good day and keep it that way, than a bad one you have to improve.

Blanket Project Graduation benefit

How ’bout those Blanket seniors, Class of 2009. School hasn’t even started and they’re already raising money for Project Graduation. All kinds of good deals and gently-used, previously-owned merchandise are available, for sale, from 8 a.m. to noon today, at the Dav-Con building on Early Boulevard.

‘Aiming to Help Kids’

Big Brothers Big Sisters of Brown County will be holding a 3-D bow shoot — themed “Aiming to Help Kids” — to raise money for the local program. The event is scheduled to start at 8 a.m. and will be held at the Brownwood Bowhunters Association range on Farm-to-Market 45 South.

Sponsored by Buckmasters American Deer Foundation — Heart of Texas Chapter, this is the second 3-D bow shoot BBBS of Brown County has had since it began organizing last summer.

Entry fees, if you haven’t preregistered, are $25 for 14 years old through adult; and $15 for youth 13 and younger. Registrations will be accepted the day of the shoot.

The shoot is organized so there are three divisions for adult participants with the top three scores being awarded trophies in each division. Youth 13 and under will have a division as well, and the top three scores will be awarded trophies as well.

The prizes are courtesy of Academy Sports, Kwikee Kwiver, Matthews, BCY, Muzzy, American Broadhead, Wildlife Research Center and others.

Great day for a parade

Get downtown early for the sidewalk sales, and you’ll be in prime position for the big parade. Just like always, the parade will start at 10 a.m. 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.

Lewie Newman, a grand guy who’s lived here all his life, is the grand marshal. Be sure to wave to Lewie, and maybe you’ll get tossed a piece of candy.

Spirit of Salsa Festival

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.

Young Marines

The Pecan Valley Regional Young Marine Program is getting under way. Applications are being accepted, and parents and children interested in the program are invited to watch a video at an informational program at noon on the top-floor classroom of the Douglas MacArthur Academy of Freedom, the corner of Austin and Coggin.

The Young Marines program was established in 1958, and has been an excellent and effective program for girls and boys across the U.S. The program instills a sense of pride, discipline and respect, honor, leadership and obedience — the core values of the U.S. Marine Corps — in youth during a critical time in their lives. The things youth learn in the program are skills and lessons that serve them all the rest of their lives.

Registration fee $200 for new recruits, and $80 for returning recruits.

Gospel Sing

Central Texas Gospel Sing and First Baptist Church of Bangs present their quarterly evening of Southern gospel music. The concert will be at 6 p.m. at the First Baptist Church of Bangs. Admission is free with a love offering taken. Featured for this concert will be “Of One Accord,” South Texas Gospel Music Association’s Group of the Year for 2008, from Frisco, Texas. Other local groups appearing will include “In His Name” and “Pure Grace.”

Big Rodeo Dance

Scoot your boots and take a turn around the floor 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 you can still get your ticket — $25 at the door.

Regularly scheduled

• Home grown, and ready for the table — the Brown County Farmers Market opens at 7 a.m. under the Bill Monroe Overpass on Austin Avenue at the corner of Avenue A and Brady Avenue.

• The Early First United Methodist Church will have its distribution day for Angel Food Ministries from noon to 1 p.m. Come to the Family Life Center at 1073 Early Blvd. Remember to bring one large box to pick up your food. Also, remember to bring your receipt. Orders that are not picked up during the scheduled time will be donated. The August menu will be available on Saturday, and orders may be placed at that time.

• The Brown County Museum of History, located downtown in the old jail across from the courthouse, is open from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. every Saturday.

• The Lake Brownwood Lions Club, 6751 Highway 279, will host bingo at 1:30 p.m.