Even though we’re all looking ahead, ready to jump into the warmer months, Experience Jackson wants to take a look back at the successful year they had in 2022, in preparation for an equally as eventful 2023. Experience Jackson exists to support local events and festivals, as well as bring visitors to Jackson County in order to see what Jackson has to offer while supporting economic development within the community. Experience Jackson and their community partners strove to invite people to return to Jackson and see the development and evolution for themselves throughout 2022.
Experience Jackson runs multiple campaigns throughout the year, including golf, museums, and an outdoor campaign. They began with ice fishing, hoping to bring visitors from the surrounding areas to experience the sport in some of Jackson’s many lakes. As the ice thawed and spring came, so did many of Jackson’s classic events. The Rose Festival Parade made a grand return, where Experience Jackson’s own JACK the Elephant had his own shining moment.
Throughout the year, Experience Jackson was featured in a new series on JTV, titled A Visit with Experience Jackson. Where Experience Jackson’s Marketing & Development Manager, Rachel Buchanan, made her way with Andy Hawley and the rest of the JTV crew to highlight several Jackson County hotspots, like The Parlour, JAX 60, and Ella Sharp Museum.
Experience Jackson also sparked a new partnership with the Southside Summer Festival Series, celebrating and honoring Jackson’s black community with events throughout the entire summer. Some recurring partnerships also occurred, with other Jackson favorites, like the Birds, Blooms, and Butterflies Festival at the Dahlem Center, the summer Cruise-In and Concerts, the ORS Race Series, and Sandhill Crane Vineyard’s Running Between the Vines race.
Jackson also welcomed the larger events that the community has grown to love over the years. The highly anticipated Hot Air Jubilee made its return in July, where Experience Jackson served as the Hospitality Sponsor, offering guests insight into activities and attractions they can enjoy during their Jackson County Visit. At the Art, Beer, and Wine Festival, Experience Jackson sponsored the photo booth to help commemorate the day, while having a booth of their own to chat with patrons about their time at this fan-favorite festival. According to Rachel, the biggest (literally) partnership had to be with the Bright Walls Finale. Because of Experience Jackson’s partnership, the Jackson Chamber and Experience Jackson office now have a huge mural, proudly painted on the back of our building by California artist, Ricky Watts. Ricky painted a brightly colored 48-foot mural, that is a joy for the team to take in each morning as they come to work.
Summer continued with a handful of bus tours and motorcoaches and paying special attention to bringing groups from out of the area for weddings and tours. Michigan International Speedway always brings thousands of visitors to Jackson. This past year, Experience Jackson was able to sponsor a driver, Ryan Vargas in a No. 6 Chevrolet, for the NASCAR Xfinity Race Series. This exciting sponsorship allowed Experience Jackson to be advertised at high speed as Ryan zipped around the track.
The chill that brought on fall offered the opportunity for alternative ways to get outdoors, rather than NASCAR races or festivals. Jackson County welcomed the inaugural Rode to Hell gravel bike race to the Waterloo State Recreation Area in October. This race spans from Grass Lake to Hell, with a total of 100 miles, and a variety of shorter races stretching in between. They are looking forward to bringing the race back in 2023. After the race, participants enjoyed live music by the band Bombargo.
As a Community Champion level Member of the Chamber, Experience Jackson made the most of their membership in a few ways. They utilized their Chamber Membership by sponsoring new Chamber Members, like Daniel Martin’s Drinks & Deceptions, Wayland Golf Club, and Monster Box Theatre. Experience Jackson also sent one of their staffers to Leadership Jackson, a nine-month premiere professional development put on by the Chamber, where upcoming business leaders can connect with one another, and further develop their professional development skills in areas like HR, government, accounting, personal branding, and more. You may have also seen Experience Jackson at one of the many Off the Clocks the Chamber has hosted in 2023, in which Experience Jackson sponsored the bar, making the networking fun, casual, and comfortable for all in attendance.
With that, Experience Jackson is looking forward to another, not only successful but busy year! Like in 2022, Experience Jackson is, once again, excited to be partnering with statewide entities like Pure Michigan, MLive, and Under the Radar. As always, it’s an honor for Experience Jackson to be working with the Jackson County hotels, in order to bring new visitors to the community, and expose more and more people to all that the community has to offer. Stay up-to-date on what’s next for Experience Jackson here.
If you’re interested in partnering with Experience Jackson on an upcoming event, fill out the form here.