The Iowa State Fair’s board of directors will “consider” the governor’s suggestion that they “listen to fairgoers” before switching to a cashless system for food and drink purchases during the 2014 Iowa State Fair.
The board issued a written statement late Wednesday afternoon following an onslaught of negative reaction and the governor’s caution about making such a “big change” to use 50-cent tickets as currency on the fairgrounds. The Board said it has “been moved by the passion of fairgoers.”
The state senator who represents the part of Des Moines that includes the state fairgrounds does not expect lawmakers to get embroiled in the controversy over a “cashless” 2014 Iowa State Fair. Senator Dick Dearden does not plan on drafting any legislation to address the issue.
“You know, there’s always resistance to change and it seems a little strange to me, but I guess the Bud Tent’s been doing this for years and nobody seems to have any real opposition to that,” Dearden says.
The “Bud Tent” at the State Fair — an outdoor beer garden — has been in operation since 1947. The fair charges a per-keg fee for beer vendors. Food vendors are to pay 17-and-a-half percent of their profits to the fair.
The Iowa State Fair Board now refers to its plan to require fairgoers to buy tickets in order to buy Fair food as merely “proposed” rather than a done deal. The Fair Board, in its statement late yesterday, said their intention “is not to harm our Fairgoers’ experience, but to improve the integrity of our financial systems.”
The Texas State Fair — the largest fair in the country — uses a ticketing system for food and beverage purchases and the Iowa State Fair’s new system would be modeled after the one in Texas.