Springfield, Mo — High heat and low attendance could cause Ozark Empire Fair organizers to change the date of the fair. They are in early discussions to possibly move the fair's summer schedule to avoid excessive heat waves.
On its 75th anniversary the attendance at the Ozark Empire Fair dropped by 70,000 from 2009. It is the second straight attendance drop. “The high temperatures had a drastic effect,” Ozark Empire Fairgrounds General Manager Elvin Dunn said. “It took its toll upon the attendance.” Dunn says he, the Ozark Empire Fairground’s board and staff are holding “brain storming” sessions. “I wish it was as easy as looking at a calendar and saying ‘let's change it from this date to this date’ but it's not,” Dunn said. “It could be later in September or earlier in June.”
Dunn says he attended roundtable discussions with other general managers who moved other fairs to fall dates. He says they found success. “The school districts worked with the fair and even declared a “Fair Day” for the children to attend the fair, others held field trips to the fair and also college kids are back in town,” Dunn said.