It’s an exciting time of year in Erath County with the 48th annual Cowboy Capital of the World PRCA Rodeo right around the corner and Rodeo Heritage Week festivities kicking off on Saturday.

“I’m excited. We have a lot of good things going on and have a good group of guys and gals on the committee,” said the Cowboy Capital of the World Rodeo Association’s new President James Andrae. “We’ve really been working hard on the parade and the event at the park, and obviously the rodeo.”

This year's parade, sponsored by the Empire-Tribune, will be held in the morning instead of the afternoon. The parade will start at 10 a.m. Saturday at City Park, winding through the downtown square.

“The last few years the turnout hasn’t been that good and I think it’s because people are busier in the evenings and already have their day planned,” Andrae said. “So I think it’ll be better and people can just wake up and go to the parade.”

The Rodeo Heritage Week kickoff celebration — presented by the Bruner Auto Family and RAM Trucks — will follow the parade at 11 a.m. in Stephenville City Park and will include McCoy’s Mutton Bustin’ competition, pony rides, carriage rides, western vendors, Bruner Motors test drives, Cooper’s Country Store dummy roping, food and music.

Both the parade and celebration are free and open to the public.

As the saying goes, “If it ain’t broke, don’t fix it,” and this year’s events and rodeo will be the same with no major changes.

“There’s really no big changes we’ve made,” Andrae said. “It’s been working how it is so we’re just going to have more of it and are really trying to take care of our sponsors and get some good cowboys here for a good rodeo.”

For the past two years the PRCA Rodeo has been named the Top 5 Medium Rodeo of Year and the 48th annual rodeo will begin with steer roping at 9 a.m. Thursday, Sept. 21, at Lone Star Arena and continue through Sunday evening.

Advance tickets are $12 for adults and $8 for kids ages six-12 and tickets at the door are $15 for adults and $10 for kids ages six-12.

Advance tickets can be purchased at Capital Hatters, Chick Elms Grand Entry, First Financial Bank, Hay & Feed Ranch, Saddle Rags, TexasBank, Twisted J and the Stephenville Chamber of Commerce.

For more information visit www.cowboycapitalprcarodeo.com or call the Chamber of Commerce at 254-965-5313.