Ozark Empire Fair adding extra COVID-19 precautions for upcoming run
SPRINGFIELD, Mo. (KY3) - The Ozark Empire Fair is quickly approaching for its 85th year.
The fair will take place July 29 through August 8 in Springfield. General Manager Aaron Owen is expecting ticket sales will return to pre-pandemic levels. In 2020, the fair sold about 70,000 tickets.
Owen said the fair will incorporate COVID-19 guidelines, like social distancing, providing hand washing stations and signage throughout the park. He said the park is 72 acres, providing room for social distancing. Crews are installing new restrooms.
“In our animal barns we already do extra hand washing and disinfecting,” said Owen. “So a lot of that stuff wasn’t new to us last year. So none of that’ll change.”
Owen said more vendors will be in attendance and there will be more carnival rides. The science show will return after being cancelled in 2020.
He expects a higher turn out with those showing livestock, because in 2020 several county fairs were canceled leaving many to come to the Ozark Empire Fair. Owen said multiple groups enjoyed it so much they’re returning this year.
“We’re going to roll on because people have based on ticket sales and stuff they’re wanting to get out and they know I think after what we did last year that we can keep it clean, we can keep it safe,” said Owen. “We just got to keep moving on and I hope that trends down. We stay in touch and work with our local officials to do what they want us to do.”
Not only is it the 85th anniversary for the fair, but the bicentennial for the state of Missouri. Owen said in the next few days there will be a surprise he will reveal about a celebration.
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