CENTRAL POINT, Ore. — Southern Oregonians who plan to attend the Jackson County Expo for its annual "Red, White & Boom" event on July 4 should expect major congestion afterward, according to the Jackson County Sheriff's Office (JCSO).
Deputies are urging drivers to plan ahead and exercise patience once the show ends and the mass exodus begins.
Once the fireworks display is over, deputies will close Peninger Road to incoming traffic so that vehicles can leave the Expo parking lots. Due to the one-way traffic, vehicles will not be able to drive toward the Expo to pick up children or others until most of the attendees have left.
JCSO will be directing the one-way traffic in both lanes on Peninger Road as vehicles file out. Vehicles leaving the north parking lots will be routed north toward Upton Road. Vehicles leaving the south parking lots will be directed south toward Pine Street. Traffic signals at nearby intersections will be adjusted to allow vehicles to leave the event more efficiently.
Deputies will also be on the lookout for drunk or impaired drivers. Carpooling and designating a sober driver is highly encouraged for anyone planning to consume alcohol at the event—smoking marijuana in public is prohibited under state law.
According to a study by the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety, more people die in motor vehicle crashes on Independence Day than any other day of the year—with an average of 118.4 deaths across the U.S.
Oregon was also ranked #8 on a list of the 10 most dangerous states in the U.S. on the Fourth of July, as compiled by ASecureLife. That data comes primarily from death, injury or destruction caused by impaired driving and wildfires.
The Jackson County Expo is located at 1 Peninger Road in Central Point, near I-5 exit 33. Gates open to the public at 5:30 p.m. with the fireworks display set to begin around 10 p.m. There are activities and entertainment planned for families to enjoy before the fireworks start. Parking is available in lots only—not along the roadway.