Ozark Empire Fairgrounds & Event Center
Unveils Plan for Facility Improvements
Ozark Empire Fairgrounds & Event Center is rolling out a plan to make an
outdated area of the fairgrounds more accessible, aesthetically pleasing and
functional. The project includes remodeling the decades-old 4-H building,
expanding the Lester building and constructing a maintenance shed. “We are
excited about this project because it puts money in an area that will benefit
exhibitors,” said Aaron Owen, Ozark Empire Fairgrounds & Event Center
4-H building was constructed in the 1960s and much of it is now far beyond
repair. In fact, during the Ozark Empire
Fair, 4-H exhibitors no longer use the 4-H building. Instead, they set up their
projects in the Live Local Hall in the E*Plex. The improvement plan includes
tearing down the dilapidated part of the 4-H building, but saving and
remodeling its shower-house and restrooms. This will give campers and
exhibitors access to a much-needed shower-house and restroom facility in that
area. The outside of the 4-H building will be resurfaced in tan-colored siding
Lester building, situated next to the 4-H building, will also undergo a
transformation. The Lester building will be expanded from 1,900 square-feet to
5,700 square-feet. It will get decked out in the same tan-colored siding as the
the Ozark Empire Fair must limit the number of entries rabbit and poultry
exhibitors bring due to the Lester building’s insufficient size. The expanded
facility will allow 4-H and FFA youth and adults to show-off more of their
prized rabbits and chickens. In addition, the increased space will give
commercial vendors more room during events like FarmFest. “When the building is
completed, the options are endless in regards to what it can be rented for. We
envision it to be used for country weddings, family reunions or winter storage
for RVs and boats,” explained Owen.
additional funds raised, the area around the 4-H and Lester buildings will
receive asphalt. This will give the fairgrounds additional handicap-accessible
parking and additional camping spots. All nearby overhead power lines will be
buried to improve safety and make the area more aesthetically pleasing.
last piece of the improvement plan includes building a new maintenance shed to
house large equipment like tractors, dump trucks and street cleaners.
Steel from the torn-down section
of the 4-H building will be repurposed in the construction of the new shed.
year, more than 530,000 people attended events at the fairgrounds. In 2014, the
Ozark Empire Fairgrounds and Event Center spent $297,000 on building remodels,
repairs and equipment in order to update its facilities. Everything the Ozark
Empire Fairgrounds & Event Center accomplishes is done without tax dollars,
assessment fees, or subsidies.
plan to transform the blighted area into a place of beauty and functionality at
the fairgrounds will cost $190,000. The Ozark Empire Fair Board and the Ozark
Empire Fair Foundation are pledging money and support to the project. But, for
the plan to come to complete fruition, they need your help.
A private donor has donated up to $50,000 in matching funds and we would appreciate your consideration and support as well. All donations will be accepted
in addition to multi-year pledges.
gifts are tax deductible.
will be recognized publically and those exceeding $2,500 will be posted in a
prime and permanent location at the building.
If you are interested in partnering in this much-needed project,
please feel free to contact Aaron Owen, General Manager Ozark Empire
Fairgrounds & Event Center.