People are scrambling to make last minute preparations in Sedalia, as the Missouri State Fair begins Thursday. Fair Director Mark Wolfe says everything appears to be on schedule, but it is, of course, hectic at the fairgrounds.

“The carnival’s trying to get set up, got a lot to do at the last minute. Pretty busy everywhere, a lot of livestock moving in, a lot of campers in. As a matter of fact, our campground’s getting pretty close to getting full I think,” Wolfe said.

The Fair runs from August 12th to 22nd. Governor Nixon will be on hand for the Opening Day ceremony Thursday morning at 10:00am.

State Fair Director Mark Wolfe says he’s really not too concerned about the impact a down economy will have on fair attendance.

“There was a lot of concern about that last year with the economy turning south as it did. Yet, across the board, and I talked to a lot of fair directors from a lot of other states; across the board, I think almost everybody was up,” Wolfe said.

Attendance was up in Missouri 8% last year, and Wolfe says it likely would have been even higher if it weren’t for some rainy days in the middle of the fair. This year, the concern is the heat.

“The weather is the one thing that we can’t control. It’s going to be a little hot the first couple of days this year that may affect attendance somewhat, but we got some cooler weather coming it sounds like. So we should finish up the first weekend and go into next week and hopefully the crowds will be good,” Wolfe said.

Wolfe says for less than $20, an entire family can afford admission onto the fairgrounds.

“Walk around the beautiful fairgrounds, and see some of the best of the best in Missouri when it comes to livestock. So I think there’s a lot to offer for the amount that it costs to come to the fair and I think that proved itself true last year with the economy like it was,” Wolfe said.

Wolfe says there will be a number of new shows and attractions.

“There’s always kind of fine line between what you do away with and replace with something new and what fairgoers expect to see when they come to the fair each year. I was laughing the other day and said, ‘You know you couldn’t have the Missouri state fair without the pig races.’ So there are certain things we have back year after year that are always entertaining,” Wolfe said.

As part of a special promotion, fair admission will only be two dollars on opening day. Thursday night there will also be a parade and a flyover from the U.S. Air Force at 6:00pm.

AUDIO: Ryan Famuliner reports [1 min MP3]