By SCOTT AUST, FCEDC Director of Communications
Excitement is brewing for the 50th anniversary of Beef Empire Days.
To kick off this year’s hallmark celebration of the beef industry, organizers are putting on the Beef Empire Days Rodent Racin’ Ball & Auction tomorrow night.
The event gets underway at 5:30 p.m. Saturday with a social hour, followed by dinner at 6 p.m. and rodent racing at 7 p.m., all at the Clarion Inn Ballroom, 1911 E. Kansas Ave.
Tickets are $30 per person, or $50 per couple, and are available at the Clarion Inn/Samy’s, or online at www.beefempiredays.com. Tickets will also be available at the door.
Stacey Carr, new BED Executive Director who came on board in late September, said there will be plenty of exciting things going on at the fundraiser.
“This is a fundraising event for Beef Empire Days. This year is our 50th year, and this event is going to be kicking it off. We’re going to be announcing some surprises that we have coming this year, and information about what’s to come,” she said.
Bradley Chance Hays, a contemporary western artist and attended elementary school in Rolla, will be doing a live painting during the event.
Hays, whose father was a rodeo cowboy and mother an artist, works in a variety of mediums and has been passionate about drawing and horses since he was a small boy. He is a professional calf roper and artist, painting primarily expressionistic pieces of horses.
“If you’ve seen our advertisement for the rodent racing, he drew that image. We’ll be auctioning off one of his paintings and the live painting,” Carr said.
The rodent race will feature, well, racing rodents.
“Basically, they auction the mouse,” Carr said. “People ‘buy’ the mouse and then they race them. They have a track and everything. People come in from Colorado and do this for fundraisers.”
In addition, there will be other items up for auction and a DJ will provide music during the event. The dinner will feature beef kabobs and a shrimp boil.
Carr didn’t want to go into detail about plans for this special 50th Beef Empire Days, but she thinks people will like them.
“We have big plans. I can’t tell you too much right now because we’ll be releasing it tomorrow night. But we definitely have some big, big stuff coming,” she said. “It’s definitely going to be a good time.”