SPRINGFIELD, Mo. – A high turnout is nothing new for the Ozark Empire Fair. Fair officials say this year’s event will not be any different. 

“Last year we had about 156,000. We think it will exceed that just due to what we’ve got going on out here.” Kent Hyde said. 

Hyde says as people visit from different parts of America, they’ll bring a boost to the economy. 

“You don’t usually get one livestock exhibitor you get the family,” Hyde said. “While they’re here, they may be here anywhere from five days to the entire ten days of the fair, the vendors, some of the vendors that come and stay the whole fair they stay in hotels, they go to Bass Pro, they eat at restaurants. And so we think it has a very, very substantial social impact on on the economy of Springfield.”

One visitor came to Springfield to spend time at the fair with his family. 

“I have three teenage granddaughters that I went picked one up in Joplin, one, two in Springfield, and we came out to the fair to spend some time together, and now they’ve run off playing somewhere.” Mike Gray said. 

Working in the livestock area, the Smith sister traveled from Decatur, Arkansas to compete. 

“We just got back from our junior nationals limousine in Amarillo, Texas, and Dalby in Salina, Kansas. And we’ve been home for about two weeks and this is kind of our last show before we have a break for State Fair.” Jacey Smith said. 

The Smiths say they’ll be here until Sunday but have some things to do while they’re in town. 

“We’ll also probably go look at some sale calves that will be up for sale this fall.”