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How the Ozark Empire Fair plans to keep guests safe this year

Local News

SPRINGFIELD, Mo. — The Annual Ozark Empire Fair is still on for the end of the month, but it won’t look the same as years before.

Aaron Owen, general manager of the Ozark Empire Fair, says there will be several hand sanitizer stations, arrows to indicate which way to walk and social distancing.

“You could come and have your family fun, practice your social distancing, do your hand sanitizing and hand washing and go home and sleep in your own bed and be perfectly comfortable,” said Owen. “I look forward to having new customers this year that typically would be somewhere on a beach or a plane or a train, and now they can be with us.”

Teens and kids competitions are canceled this year and COVID-19 signs will be out to educate the public on the virus.

“You’re still going to see the magic shows, you’ll see the free stages, you’ll see all of that fun stuff, but it’s a little less interacting,” said Owen.

Agventure will still be there but will be more of an educational presentation.

Fair food will be served by employees behind glass. Any restaurants with open windows will also have Plexi glasses installed.

“There’s a lot of room to social distance, to spread out, we just want people to be respectful, come out and have a good time,” said Owen.

Owen says refills for drinks will be handled differently this year.

“You walk up and say I need a refill, there’s a trash can, you throw it away, we give you a new cup,” said Owen. “So you didn’t lose anything, you just get a new cup.”

The Ozark Empire Fair is expected to open at 4 p.m. on July 30 and at 11 a.m. on July 31 through August 8.

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