SPRINGFIELD, Mo. -

Ozark Empire Fair organizers expect to see a big increase in attendance from last year once they tally up the final numbers.

General Manager Aaron Owen said ticket sales this year were up about 15 percent from last year. He said they won't know the final number for attendance for a few weeks, but they expect it to mirror the hike in sales.

"We hope the 15 percent continues to trend that way, we have one more big night ahead of us," Owen said.

Last year's attendance was 139,000, so an increase of 15 percent would be about 20,000 more fair-goers than last year. Owen said there are a few big reasons for the jump.

"Weather is always number one," Owen said. "Number two, we've done a lot more free stuff on the grounds, and trying to pick the right things for family-fun entertainment you can't get anywhere else"

Owen said even though the 2014 edition of the fair isn't quite over yet, organizers are already planning for next year's event.

"We've got bids in on three or four grounds acts already and we've got some preliminary plans on how we'll do things next year," Owen said. "In fact we've got a couple of acts already contracted for next year"

The fair wraps up tonight with a rodeo at the KY3 Grandstand at 7:00.