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Wakarusa Comes To Town

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Wakarusa, one of the biggest music festivals in the state, is in town.

The festival is expected to bring a much-welcomed boost to the local economy.

“Our business will triple over what it would be if Wakarusa weren`t here for that four [to] five day period,” Brad Wimberly said.

For the small town of Ozark, with large crowds coming to town, it is an important week for business.

“Wednesday through Sunday, there is about 15,000 people expected to come through," Eric Swearingin said.

“We are expecting to double our business,” Swearingin said. “We are their first door, and we expect all 15,000 to come through here.”

Business owners have been planning for weeks and have their shelves stocked.

“About two weeks ago, we doubled our orders for beer, our Cokes, Pepsi, coffee, all of our grocery items,” Swearingin said. “When the rush gets here, we will have all of our merchandise.”

Although sales will boost, traffic is a concern.

"We have help from state police and several other departments are helping us out," said Franklin County Sheriff Anthony Boen. "We couldn't do it without their help.

Boen said if a tornado were to come to Ozark, shelter is limited.

"Everybody for their own I guess," Boen said. "We don't really have a staging area anything for them. It would be a mess."

No matter the weather, Swearingin and Wimberly said this weekend is all about business.

“It`s been a healthy increase to the business,” Swearingin said.

Wakarusa kicks off Wednesday, and lasts until Sunday.

Boen said 73 people were arrested at Wakarusa in 2013.

Headliners at the music festival include The String Cheese Incident, Bassnectar, and the Flaming Lips.


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