Hermiston has grown in leaps and bounds over the past 20 years, and another leap is just around the corner.

The Eastern Oregon Regional Trade and Events Center began as a way to get the county fair out of town. Not that the city hasn’t enjoyed hosting the fair in its central block of land, but frankly there’s not space anymore.

The high school is going to continue to grow, and a more complete sports complex on school grounds should be one of the district’s goals. That means more space, and the school and fairgrounds are already butting up against one another.

So instead of letting the two entities grow beyond capacity, a steering committee came together to look at building an events center south of Hermiston near the airport that could host both the fair and the Farm-City Pro rodeo.

And instead of stopping there, the steering committee decided to make this project one that moves Hermiston forward by a leap, if not a bound, too.

Next Tuesday, people will get their first Q&A with the steering committee and get to hear how the planning is coming.

From early discussions, the committee is looking at a multi-purpose facility, one that can house the fair, rodeo, horse shows, auctions, polo, monster truck rallies — whatever draws a crowd.

This is significant because it shows Hermiston is ready to take the next step.

The fair has been a great event for the city, but one week in August is certainly not all the town is capable of. And while Hermiston has a nice selection of other things going on — Saturday markets, Funfest, Takin’ it to the Streets, Festival of Lights, conference center events — the center puts Hermiston more prominently on the map.

There’s plenty for the city to be proud of, and this center is a great way to highlight that.

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