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Tag: Experience Jackson

A Look into Experience Jackson’s 2023

Year after year, Experience Jackson maintains a jam-packed schedule full of activities for the community. Experience Jackson is Jackson County’s official tourism and visitor’s bureau, vital in boosting tourism, developing local pride, and driving economic development. They have had a remarkable year so far, involved with a multitude of events that have captivated locals and visitors alike. From the highly-anticipated Art, Beer, & Wine festival to the thrilling Aviation Day, there has been no shortage of entertainment in our community!

Additionally, Museum Day provided an opportunity for culture enthusiasts to explore the rich history and artistic treasures of Jackson. Let’s not forget the Downtown Jackson Cruise-Ins, which brought together car enthusiasts for an unforgettable showcase of classic and vintage automobiles. These are just a few examples of the fun events that Experience Jackson has sponsored this year. Experience Jackson continues to build partnerships with local businesses, organizers, and venues who work to draw visitors and stimulate growth.

As we look ahead to the rest of 2023, many are curious about what lies in store for Experience Jackson. Rachel Buchanan, Marketing & Development Manager, reveals exciting updates and anticipated returns to the City of Jackson. “We are very excited to be partnering with Under the Radar Michigan, a television show on PBS,” Buchanan said. Under the Radar is about discovering the people and places of Michigan and a travel series available to watch on PBS Thursdays at 8:30PM or streaming. “Experience Jackson is set to release an exciting new episode soon – through a Pure Michigan partnership highlighting Jackson.” 

This year, Experience Jackson will sponsor the first-ever Rockin’ the Tee Box, a music festival with Chamber member Apex Sports & Entertainment. Prepare to be transported back in time as you immerse yourself in the nostalgic sounds of the 90’s. The event will be on August 19th and features no less than four major bands from the era. Hit makers – The Verve Pipe, Marcy Playground, and Wheatus, are just a few of the great bands that will be there. In addition to the captivating music, there will be an array of other fun activities for the whole family to engage in, such as sand volleyball and mini-golf.

“We’re thrilled to have established the new ‘Jackson County Events & Festivals Group’ to encourage and be a resource to those who plan festivals and events,” Buchanan said. The creation of this group signifies Experience Jackson’s commitment to the community and its dedication to promoting a vibrant and thriving event culture, by providing a platform for collaboration and knowledge-sharing. 

Experience Jackson hopes 2023 brings in investment from people locally as well as those coming just to visit. They want more hotel stays, increased business at local eateries, and a continued positive perception of events, festivals, and attractions in Jackson. The Festival for the Arts, a multi-day event showcasing various forms of visual and performing arts, is scheduled to take place in Downtown Jackson in September. Additionally, October will bring the much-awaited Bride of FrankenFest to Art 634, promising “mad, magical and mystical artwork from the area’s most intriguing artists.”

Some memorable events from the past are being revived with greater impact and higher production value. The PBA/50 World Series of Bowling made its triumphant return this year, captivating bowling enthusiasts with its action-packed schedule at JAX 60. The Professional Bowlers Association (PBA) continues to hold its position as the leading global organization committed to the sport of bowling and its professional tournaments.

The Hot Air Jubilee, a beloved annual celebration, continues to captivate attendees with its summertime festivities, which are set to take place from July 21st to July 23rd. This year marks the event’s 40th anniversary, and will provide affordable family entertainment including the beauty, color, and thrill of hot air balloons as well as other unique and one-of-a-kind attractions. New this year will be the addition of the National Women’s Hot Air Championships, which has a commitment to continue for the next three years. This competition will invite numerous skilled female pilots from all corners of the country to come together and participate and promises to add even more excitement to this popular event.

The highly anticipated Gus Macker 3 on 3 Basketball Tournament is set to make a comeback on the same weekend as the Hot Air Jubilee. This high energy event is an absolute must-see. “Gus Macker is expanding their festival to be more accommodating and family friendly, with additional events and activities such as a cornhole tournament,” Buchanan said. Both events will feature an appearance by JACK the Elephant, Experience Jackson’s mascot and Director of Historical Importance and Community Fun. He will be competing in the Mascot Game at Gus Macker and greeting families at the Hot Air Jubilee. 

Experience Jackson is gearing up for the continuation of a busy and exhilarating year. In a determined effort to bolster the favorable image of Jackson County as a tourist hotspot, the organization is leaving no stone unturned. Their primary objective is to generate higher revenues and foster economic progress, all for the betterment of the local community. With unwavering dedication, their mission is set to make a significant impact. Experience Jackson continues its partnership with our Jackson County hotels to provide visitors with the perfect stay while they enjoy local events and attractions. Additionally, their membership with the Jackson County Chamber of Commerce allows them to join forces and expose more and more people to everything our vibrant city 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.

Experience Jackson Reflects on 2022

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.