Iowa State Fair Now Manages All Rides

Aug 10, 2017

Today is the first day of Iowa State Fair. One new change this year is the fair is no longer using one contractor for all the amusement rides. This means the fair itself is now responsible for managing all of the rides.

"We're blending about 20 different companies together to make this midway," says State Fair CEO Gary Slater. "Other fairs that have done that, other events that have done that need, we needed an outside safety consultant, Wagoner and Associates, so that everybody is making sure of the same checklist every day and that we have our own Iowa State procedures."

Iowa State Fair CEO Gary Slater speaking during the 2017 opening day ceremony.
Credit John Pemble / IPR

Slater says this change was planned two years ago to accompany renovations to the midway that were introduced today.

"It's just another layer and one so that we’re all looking and expecting the same thing from each and every company here. Safety first for the Iowa State Fair," says Slater.

The final inspection for rides still falls on Iowa's Division of Labor, which has to certify the fair's 23 rides are ready to go.