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It's just 'The Expo'

Just call it The Expo.

Of course, that's what a lot of people have been doing for the better part of 50 years since the Jackson County Fairgrounds moved downstream from what is now the South Medford Freeway Interchange to the present 212-acre site adjacent to Bear Creek.

Now it's official: The Jackson County Fairgrounds and Exposition Park will henceforth be known merely as The Expo. When it hosts large events, the name can be expanded to accommodate, creating phrases such as "The Fair at The Expo," "Wild Rogue Pro Rodeo at The Expo," and "Southern Oregon Home Show at The Expo."

"It's really a case of semantics," said Jackson County Fair Director Dave Koellermeier. "We've restaged our website. A lot of information gets shared that way and rebranding everything to The Expo is a mechanism to drive people to the website."

Koellermeier said the rebranding project has progressed over the past 12 months, aided by Lanphier Associates.

"It's been a low-priority effort, but we kept ticking away at it," he said. "Once we had the infrastructure and concepts in place, it became a natural last step to kick it off. People have called it the Expo for years. What we want is added verbiage so there isn't confusion. From now on, it will be the Jackson County Fair at The Expo."

There are roughly 200 events — primarily on weekends — annually, drawing 250,000 people.

"For events such as the regional quarterhorse show," Koellermeier said, "we tell them to forward what they want on the Web and we can put that information up."

Online updates, email alerts, event-related Facebook pages and tickets for summer concerts are found at The Expo's website www.attheexpo.com. Facebook fans also can follow The Expo on pages specific to The Jackson County Fair, The Wild Rogue Pro Rodeo, and the Lithia Motors Amphitheater.

"We define what we do as education, entertainment and marketing," Koellermeier said. "Outside of school, what we really do is Friday, Saturday and Sunday. We're usually going 48 of 52 weekends a year, usually with multiple events."

The hope is that the rebranding effort will steer more people to events, especially from outside the region.

"We've got more activity than we had 10 years ago, with the horse and trade shows," he said.

Now all that activity will have one common element, a location known simply as The Expo.

Reach reporter Greg Stiles at 541-776-4463 or email business@mailtribune.com.

Jenna Kellmer of Battle Ground, Wash., rides her horse, Lotterychecks, Thursday while practicing for the Oregon Reining Horse Association Show that will be held at the newly christened The Expo, the site of the Jackson County fairgrounds. - Jamie Lusch