CENTRAL POINT, Ore. – Food stands and amusement rides are rolling in just in time for the 154th Jackson County fair.
Trucks carrying carnival rides were showing up all day Tuesday. Fair officials say there will be more than 40 trucks by the evening. Those rides will be set up throughout the week in preparation for the fair starting in a week.
“This will be our 28th year at the Jackson County Fair,” vendor Daryl Whicheloe said.
The Southern Oregon food and beverage food cart is one of the first’s to arrive at the fairgrounds.
“We do hand dipped corn dogs, a frozen drink stand, which has 10 different flavors of frozen drinks and best hamburgers in town,” Whicheloe said.
Fair officials say they are making a lot of changes this year, including lower ticket prices and activates free with admission.
“We have to listen to the marketplace and we did,” Jackson County Expo manager Dave Koellermeier explained. “We’ve been struggling and trying to make some accommodations and trying to improve our programing, and we know we can do it.”
Already $300,000 dollars have been poured into the fair in upfront costs alone.
“You’re doing all the prep work, you’re getting stuff done, you’re doing your repairs and that is of course by the county and the revenues we raise here that we pour back into the grounds,” Koellermeier also said.
For the first time this year social media will become a part of the fair. The Jackson County Fair has YouTube, Facebook and Twitter pages for fans to connect with.
“It’s just an easy way to get word of mouth out there,” social media worker Alei Ghogan said. “It’s just an easy way for us to communicate with fans who have questions, social media is huge, and it’s everywhere.”
Also new, are tickets to the fair. Whether that be general admission tickets or tickets to the carnival, they will be sold for presale at local retailers including Grange Co-op, Sherms, and Food for Less. Presalers can just go right through the gate. Their tickets will be taken and if they need to return they get their hand stamped and otherwise they can go in and enjoy the day
Tickets sold at the gate run at a higher price. Fair officials say they are expecting 80,000 people to come out the fair this year.