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Sunday, July 24, 2011

Ozark Empire Fair celebrates 75 years
Springfield salesman Don Cole Sr., 78, has attended the fair every year.


Ozark Empire Fair, 1952 / News-Leader file photo, 1952
Written by Jan Peterson For the News-Leader
http://www.news-leader.com
Jul. 24, 2011
Don Cole Sr. was just a little squirt when his mama woke him up early one morning to see something they'd never seen in front of their North Broadway Avenue home.

"My mother got us up -- my sister and I -- about 6 in the morning, and here come a bunch of elephants down the street from a circus train that had stopped on Commercial Street," Cole recounts with a ready laugh.


Mr. Cole
The circus animals were headed to the Ozark Empire Fair, which celebrates its 75th year this year. And in all of those years, Cole hasn't missed a single one.

The Springfield salesman, who at 78 displays absolutely no interest in retirement, says he went to the first fair at the age of 3. Ask him about any special memories and he'll rattle off dozens.

In doing so, he paints the picture of the fair's early years, called the Ozark Empire District Free Fair when it opened Oct. 10, 1937, by the Greene County Agricultural and Mechanical Society on city park land next to the Dickerson Park Zoo.
read more: http://www.news-leader.com/article/20110724/NEWS01/107240386/1007/?odyssey=nav%7Chead


1 comment:

  1. Men and Bobby grew up with The Ozark Fair. My Mom and Dad always had a booth there with thier Appaliances By Gracie business. Many folks saw thier 1st television black and white then color and micowave oven there. I showed my FFA animals,Contested in the rodeo and performened with the AUT SWENSON THRILLCADE at this fair

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