Wednesday, April 26, 2006


Attention, locals: The Ozark Empire Fairgrounds is now the Missouri Entertainment & Event Center.

Pat Lloyd, the general manager of the fair, told reporters on Wednesday that "we were looking for a name that better spoke to the variety of events we produce."

Mmm-hmm. Just change the name and people will flock to extreme north Springfield for the gun shows. Betcha.

The Ozark Empire Fair will keep its name. But plenty of changes are already being made on that front, too. Sarah Overstreet of the News-Leader uncorks a helluva column about two prominent local fixtures being uprooted from their posts at the fair.

Change can be good. This sort of change is not.


Anonymous said...

The name change, the ousting of the Fortners, the banishment of the Lions Club members, are ALL supremely stupid moves. A Missouri Entertainment & Event Center could be anywhere from Chillicothe to Cape Girardeau. The Ozark Empire Fairgrounds is a brand with a proud and unique heritage. All trashed now. Someone needs to do an expose on this Lloyd goober. His corn dog ain't even on the stick.

Cripes sakes, if he had to change the name, why couldn't he have picked Southwest Missouri State University...or Drury College? Nobody's using those anymore.

Fricking idiot!!!

Anonymous said...


The Fair needs to be brought out of the 1950s! All this babble about Fortners and the Lions Club is meaningless to those who are not locals. But then, Sarah Overstreet is stuck in the 50s, too, bless her retro little heart!

And what on earth does "Ozark Empire" mean? Is hidden treasure buried somwhere on the square of this little town in Christian County?


busplunge said...

The fair is something that touches the heart of true Ozarkians.

I still remember my first visit in 1964, the girly shows and flat stores.

As America becomes more homogenized, the fair becomes more corporate. Gate to gate the fair controls the price.

BRING BACK MARIE CALICO, it was fun then!

Now the fair is too over priced.

I just go for the photography exhibits.

deep fried twinkies? yech

Anonymous said...

At the opening of Jubilee USA they refered to Springfield as the "Queen City." I noticed people stopped calling Springfield the Queen City after Jean Dixon and Paul Summers threw their little hissy fit over the Normal Heart.
Signed, Desdinova the Eternal Light.

The Libertarian Guy said...

Maybe if they changed it to "Ozarks Imperialist Fair", we'd get some death threats from al Qaeda and... oh, never mind. I'm just in that kinda mood this morning.

John Stone said...

"I just go for the photography exhibits."

Back in the days when I was on the faculty of U of CA San Fransisco they had a visiting famous photog that gave a seminar course ... I talked him into letting me take it ... they had a fantastic studio at the school..

I took some nudes (and everyone else did too) of my upstairs neighbor -- a girl who's dad was a big-shot Ukranian commie --- one of my photos won a big contest (read that as a $1000 bucks) in California.

I took that photo out to the fair one year to enter.

You would have thunk I dragged a gay, librul, athiest, faggot (have I already mentioned that?) into the e-plex.

My photo was not worthy of the Ozarks Empire Fair.

Anonymous said...

I can agree with Anon2 on a couple of points. Yes, in a number of ways the fair needs to be pulled into the 21st Century, and yes, Sarah Overstreet writes like a bitter old nostalgic hag a fair amount of the time.

But the criticism of the Fortners, and the pissy comment about the name "Ozark Empire" clearly reflect ignorance on the writer's part. You don't have to be a local to educate yourself about the heritage of a very honorable and marketable name for this region, or about the significant contributions that the Fortner family has made to help keep the Fair thriving over many decades.

Anonymous said...

Nothing wrong with nostalgia, the best part of the fair for me was taking my young boys to experience pretty much the same fair I went to as a child ...You've gotta have some things that are unique. I wouldn't enjoy going to Eureka Springs so much if they took out all the unique Mom and Pop places and replaced them with Friday's, Gap and Starbucks. I don't want the same generic experience you can get anywhere...Drive down Sunshine and notice how it could be the same strip at any midsize midwestern city. If you want a corporate fair experience,go to Six Flags,as for me I'd rather have a corn dog and root beer and enjoy the toothless carnies and the strange mix of folks that make it out each year.

Anonymous said...

PS- I don't think the Empire will be striking back on this one

busplunge said...

you know, that comment about driving down Sunshine and being in any city anywhere struck a chord with me.

Years ago, perhaps in 1973, I was a student at SMS majoring in English Literature with a minor in Philosophy (what was I thinking?), going to school on the GI Bill.

I wrote a paper on some of my army experiences, notably mess hall experiences. As I recall, at that time, every mess hall on every army base followed the same menu. Something about the unique satisfaction that as I sat down to my breakfast of SOS, everyone in the army was doing the same thing.

Now, we have portion control, corporate menus and everything looks and tastes the same. How I long for a fingerprint on my grilled cheese sandwich.

When I was in high school in St. Louis, my brother and I went to Public School stadium for a football game. We got there early and went across the street to a cafe for a sandwich. It was a Grade B establishment, first one I had ever been into, and we ordered teh cheapest thing on the menu, Grilled Cheese.

Best dang sangwhich I ever et.

Now, everything is the same. It is all about profit.

You know that big pizza joint on S. Campbell across from the car wash? I read in SBJ that the owner has to pay 1% of his gross to Mr. Gatti's for stealing proprietary information.

My wife and I went garage sailing yesterday, all those new subdivisions look the same and the houses are too close to the street and there are no trees. Where do these people work?

Worst of all, my secret place (Murder rocks) is becoming a golf course for branson tourists!

Think I'll go to Casper's for a bowl of chili!

Anonymous said...

Casper's? What's that? I mean, is it REAL chili?

The Libertarian Guy said...

Will there still be stick-mounted food and surly, inebriated carnival workers?

Amy said...

Man, I come home after being gone for three short months and they've renamed the fairgrounds and my credit union. What else have I missed?

Anonymous said...

Long live Casper's. Damn right it's real chili. Medicinal grade.