It look's like you don't have Adobe Flash Player installed. Get it now.
With just hours before the gates open, the Ozark Empire Fairgrounds are abuzz with last minute preparations. Food vendors are cleaning their kitchens, carnival workers are stocking game booths with stuffed animal prizes, and fair officials are solving problems over walkie-talkies.
Marla Calico, general manager of the Ozark Empire Fair, characterizes the mood at the fairgrounds. Calico plans to spend the night on the fairgrounds tonight, so she can get an early start on opening day. The livestock barn is full of people-- and animals-- that will also be staying overnight. Those who live too far to commute stay on the fairgrounds while showing animals for competition.
Lyndon Irwin, an agriculture professor at SMSU, lives close enough to go home at night, but during the day, he's in the livestock barn helping his son get ready to show sheep. Irwin says the fair is the result of many months of hard work. Sheep and other livestock aren't the only kinds of animals coming to the fair. Jim lists some of the animals that will be on display at the Missouri Department of Conservation building.
Everyone working at the fairgrounds is working up an appetite. After three weeks of cleaning, D.C. Dean is just about ready to open Rudy's Barbeque stand for its 50th season at the fair. Dean hopes to begin serving food today, to feed hungry fair workers.
While the fair is open, Dean says he cooks about 120 pounds of meat a day.
You can sample some of Rudy's Barbeque, look at animals, ride rides and much more starting tomorrow, on opening day at the Ozark Empire Fair. The fair continues through August fourth. Tickets are seven dollars, children twelve and younger are admitted free.
From the Ozark Empire Fairgrounds, I'm Jenny Fillmer for KSMU News.