By Conrad Dudderar
EL RENO – Now in its fourth year of operation, the Canadian County Expo & Event Center is hosting a national longhorn show this weekend.
The Texas Longhorn Breeders Association of America has brought its 2023 Horn Showcase and Sale to the center’s climate-controlled indoor arena, 3001 Jensen Road E.
“They’ve had this event for 25 years, and they just moved it to our facility this year,” Canadian County Expo & Event Center Director Mandy Davis said.
This is the only official horn measuring event in the Texas longhorn industry, according to the association’s website.
Texas longhorn cattle are officially measured while competing for the longest horn length during the three-day event, which opened Thursday and ends Saturday.
Because of the Canadian County Expo Center’s prime location, this weekend’s 2023 Horn Showcase and Sale is the Texas Longhorn Breeders Association’s largest ever.
“If you ever come out to our facility, look at the license plates – and realize that these people come from all across the country to El Reno and Yukon,” Davis said. “They’re staying at hotels here and eating at restaurants.
“All of that economic impact comes right back here locally.”
Since opening in July 2021, the Canadian County Expo & Event Center has had consistent event bookings.
QUITE AN IMPACT
During the first quarter of fiscal year 2024, the center’s estimated economic impact exceeded $3.4 million.
That figure was calculated using metrics provided by the Oklahoma Department of Tourism and approved by the Oklahoma Department of Commerce, according to Davis.
The Expo Center’s visitors are tracked through ticket sales and post-event recaps with event promoters.
A strong majority of attendees come from outside Canadian County.
“Close to 90% of our visitors are not within our normal tax-dollar radius,” Davis pointed out. “That means, those are people that are coming here and spending tax dollars here that wouldn’t normally.”
The Canadian County facility’s economic impact totaled $15.2 million for FY23 – when it hosted 54 events with 65,500 visitors.
The Oklahoma Horse Show Association and International Gay Rodeo Association have competitions planned over the last two weekends in October at the expo center.
Monster Truck Wars, a Christmas Market and the Oklahoma Wine, Brew & BBQ Fest are coming in November.
For a complete event schedule, visit canadianountyexpo.org or call (405) 422-5400.