Canadian County looks to improve road to Expo Center

Commissioners in talks with El Reno city officials about Jensen Road resurfacing

District 3 Canadian County Commissioner Jack Stewart

EL RENO – Canadian County and El Reno elected leaders are in talks to improve a stretch of road leading toward the new Canadian County Expo & Event Center.

Canadian County’s new fairgrounds complex is due to be finished this summer on a 50-acre site at Jensen and Alfadale roads south of Interstate 40 just east of El Reno.

Lingo Construction is construction manager for the $15.2 million multi-use facility.

County Commissioners are seeking the City of El Reno’s help to resurface Jensen Road starting from Highway 81. An interlocal agreement has been proposed.

“The first half mile of Jensen Road east of 81 – land and everything – is incorporated (City of El Reno),” Canadian County Commission Chairman Jack Stewart explained. “The next two miles, only the road is in the city limits of El Reno. The land is not.”

Stewart, the District 3 county commissioner, recently met with El Reno Mayor Matt White to discuss improving Jensen Road starting at Highway 81.

One possibility is for the City of El Reno to completely rebuild the first one-half mile entirely in its city limits. The city could de-annex the other two-mile roadway section to Canadian County.

“That is the first proposal that we will have to look at, at some point,” Stewart told fellow commissioners.

Canadian County Commissioners in June 2019 hired Nathan Smith as director and marketing manager for Canadian County’s future fairgrounds’ complex. The Canadian County Expo & Event Center, 3001 Jensen Road, is due to open this summer. County commissioners are in talks with El Reno city officials about helping resurface a stretch of Jensen Road east from Highway 81 that leads toward the multi-use facility. (Photo by Conrad Dudderar)


Canadian County Free Fair personnel are due to move into the new Canadian County Expo & Event Center this June. Events will begin on the first weekend in July.

“We’ve got a good product with a great location,” said Nathan Smith, director and marketing manager of the Canadian County Expo & Event Center.

The new site will host the 67th Annual Canadian County Free Fair set Aug. 23-28.

Many outside special events – dog shows, wrestling events, horse shows, roping events, gun shows, and trade shows – already have been booked well into 2022.

Graduations, concerts and monster truck shows are among other proposed events.

The first phase of the Canadian County Expo & Event Center project features a 19,000 square foot event center, 46,000 square foot indoor arena and 19,000 square foot open-air pavilion, along with around 15,000 square feet of office space.

Canadian County in 2019 purchased the Jensen/Alfadale Road property for $1.25 million from the Jensen family. The county has an option to purchase another 50 acres if needed for further development.