Bids awarded for Canadian County Expo Center

New facility opens this summer; hosts August county fair

Canadian County Expo Center Director Nathan Smith

By Conrad Dudderar
Staff Writer

EL RENO – With the Canadian County Expo & Event Center just weeks away from opening, county commissioners this week awarded bids for several important items.

Nathan Smith, the expo center’s director and marketing manager, recommended contracts be awarded to:

  • Douglas Equipment ($27,071.72) for folding tables and chairs. Douglas Equipment submitted the lower of two bids opened.
  • Home Depot ($21,025.47) for janitorial items. Home Depot had the lowest overall price among four companies submitting bids.
  • Buddy Trailers ($34,590) for a chipper bed truck. Buddy Trailers had a considerably lower price than a second vendor.
Nathan Smith, the director and marketing manager of the Canadian County Expo & Event Center, stands inside the facility under construction at Jensen and Alfadale roads just east of El Reno. (Photo by Conrad Dudderar)

At Smith’s request, county commissioners postponed awarding bids for announcer stand equipment and wastewater disposal at the new fairgrounds’ complex.

One bid was received for each of these items.

In June, Canadian County is due to take occupancy of the $15.2 million Canadian County Expo & Event Center, 3001 Jensen Road.

Construction nears completion on the site at Jensen and Alfadale roads – just south of Interstate 40.

The project’s first phase will feature 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.

Many special events already have been booked at the Canadian County Expo & Event Center. These include dog shows, roping events, gun shows, wrestling events, concerts, and more.

Activities are due to begin during the first weekend in July.

The 67th annual Canadian County Free Fair will be Aug. 23-28 at the new facility. This marks the first time in more than 50 years the county fair will be at a new venue.

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


In other business at its May 17th meeting, Canadian County Commissioners approved:

  • Advertising for bids for carpet and cove base installation at the Canadian County Children’s Justice Center. Commissioners had advertised earlier for this project but received no bids. Carpet companies have been contacted and are expected to bid this time around.
  • Submitting a list of Canadian County projects to Circuit Engineering District 5 to include in the Oklahoma Department of Transportation’s District 4 County Improvement for Roads and Bridges (CIRB) five-year construction plan. “I’ve added all your projects,” CED-5 manager Jeffrey Dixon told commissioners.
  • A claim to ODOT for right-of-way acquisition for the Waterloo Road project in District 1.

Undersheriff Kevin Ward presented the weekly county jail report showing 254 prisoners in custody, with 207 inmates at the El Reno detention center and 47 in other counties.

Meanwhile, county commissioners postponed action on Canadian County’s potential involvement in the American Rescue Plan Act of 2021 (see story in upcoming edition).