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Ozark Empire Fair signs Wade Shows
Second major signing for Wade in the past month
By MCW Staff
Springfield, MO -- The 2009 Ozark Empire Fair will have a new carnival said manager Elvin Dunn. Dunn, who took the helm of the fair on Oct. 1 said the fair has selected Wade Shows to provide the midway in a multi-year deal. The event draws approximately 200,000 people and the dates for 2009 will be July 31-August 9.
The selection was the culmination of a request for proposal process (RFP) that began earlier this year. Dunn said he was in place in time to conduct final negotiations two weeks ago and the board approved the contract last Tuesday. Dunn said four carnivals had submitted proposals including incumbent Reithoffer Shows.
Board members visited Wade Shows at the Central Florida Fair in Orlando and were impressed with what they found. Frank Zaitshik, Wade Shows' president, then came to Springfield during the Ozark Empire Fair to look over the grounds.
The change in midway is part of a plan to revitalize the event, producing an all-new fair. The board also has plans to increase use of the facility in the off-season. "We hired a new local agent for entertainment", said Dunn. "We are also considering concerts in the spring", he added. "Wade Shows will be bringing bigger and better attractions and enhancing the overall presentation".
In fact, Frank Zaitshik said he hoped to have 45 rides on the midway in 2009 including his White Water Flume ride to help combat the heat that often plagues the mid-summer event. Zaitshik said he and Dunn talked extensively about the heat and he responded by agreeing to provide the flume ride, bumper boats and install additional shaded areas and misting stations for the event. Other customer amenities were also part of the plan for the fair in 2009. "We are anticipating customer amenities that you can only find at an amusement park", said Zaitshik. He said he planned on bringing significant change and improvement to the event.
This is the second major fair Wade Shows has signed recently, adding Fiesta San Antonio a month ago to its event lineup. "We have a regional strategy in an effort to help us meet the challenges of escalating costs and fuel prices", said Zaitshik. "We added the Missouri State Fair in conjunction with Murphy Brothers this year and the Ozark Empire Fair will help us to continue to cut thousands of miles from our operating route which will be better for both our company and the fairs we work with", he added.