Elaine Bell is relatively new as the director of the Somervell County Expo Center, but she already knew her way around the facility long before she was named to the position in March.
Bell had previously worked for eight years as the Expo Center’s business manager.
This weekend the Expo Center will have one of its major events — the Joe Beaver Labor Day Roping and Ninth Annual Junior Superstars. It begins today (Friday, Sept. 4) and concludes on Monday. The action starts at 9 a.m. each day, at 202 Bo Gibbs Blvd. in Glen Rose.
This marks the fourth year the Joe Beaver roping event is being held in Glen Rose, after starting off with a five-year run in Stephenville.
Born in Victoria, Texas, and now a resident of Huntsville, Beaver is a member of the Pro Rodeo Hall of Fame who won three PRCA all-around champion titles (1995, 1996, 2000) and four Tie-Down Roping titles (1987, 1988, 1992, 1996).
"Typically in the past he’s had over 600 entries, and they’ll come from all over the United States," said Bell, who oversees eight employees at the Expo Center. "We are looking forward to bringing all the people into town."
Admission is free to the public, and concessions will be available for purchase.
For more information on the events scheduled, check out the Expo Center’s Facebook page.
An added attraction will be live music performed by Bailiegh Rhodes on Saturday in the lobby of the Expo Center, starting at 6 p.m.
Bell and husband Wayne Bell live in the Chalk Mountain area along with their two sons — Colton McPeek and Dylan McPeek. Colton is a junior at Glen Rose High School and Dylan is a sophomore at Tarleton State University in Stephenville.
Bell is a native of Iredell, where she was valedictorian of her high school graduating class before attending Tarleton. Mike Bell works as a hunting guide at Rough Creek Lodge.
"I like the small-town atmosphere," Bell said of Glen Rose. "We want to expand our events to draw more people into Glen Rose — more trade days, and maybe some larger events."
Bell, who grew up on a cattle ranch, was active in FFA in school and earned the Lone Star Farmer Award. Her husband travels to events competing in team roping when he has time, and Colton did when he was younger.
Like many other facilities, the Expo Center was affected by the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic. Events there began to be canceled in mid-March, and it was shut down through the end of April.
But as of the first week of May, events were once again being scheduled, and have been staged, "every weekend since then," Bell said.