As facilities begin to reopen, the staff at the Stephens County Fair and Expo Center remain hopeful on once again filling the parking lot with guests from out of town and bring new revenue to the county.
Matt Byerly, Director of the Stephens County Fair and Expo Center, said staff took the opportunity of closing down to update their facility and handle projects. Now, as they face reopening, staff prepares for events booked later this year while also signing contracts for the 2020-2021 year.
“Through this deal here, we’ve remodeled two rooms,” Byerly said. “We’re trying to update our technology a little bit, a lot of people want the projectors and everything … for presentations.”
During the interim, Fairgrounds staff also made live stream capabilities possible.
Bringing back the revenue the Fairgrounds generates for the county is now the top priority.
The first Cattle Show will take place May 22. Byerly said the event will have open doors, plenty of airflow and will follow CDC guidelines for social distancing and sanitization stations.
According to Byerly, the fairgrounds also booked a large show in the fall and after several conversations, they signed a contract for September. The show will bring a lot of people and money to town, Byerly said.
“The way I look at it, I want to fill the parking lot every weekend,” Byerly said. “It’s my job to get them there.”
The Stephens County Fair and Expo is primarily funded by events and sales tax the events bring to the county.
“We had a good reserve,” Byerly said. “We had plans of expanding (and even with the setback) we’ve got some plans to grow.”
With future support from the community, Byerly wants to meet the needs of those who do come to town. Bringing people to town means more money generated at restaurants, at hotels and at shops on Main Street Duncan.
Throughout the summer and into the fall, people will see the parking lot full with events, from the “Fall Classic” to the rodeo shows, events or booking of the conference center.
“The price allows everybody an opportunity to come in and have something,” Byerly said. “To host a family reunion or wedding.”
For more information or to book, visit stephenscountyfairandexpocenter.com.