Changes Coming to 2017 Iowa State Fair

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DES MOINES, Iowa -- The 2016 Iowa State Fair is in the books. Attendance numbers show a little more than one million people attended the 11-day fair. That's down about 86,000 from 2015 attendance numbers.

Fair officials also confirmed some big changes coming to next year's event.

Small children's rides will be relocated away from the midway to a special area near the Elwell building, in the southwest corner of the grounds.

The midway will also be operated differently.

Instead of hiring out one company who subcontracts out all the carnival vendors, in 2017 the fair will take the lead.

Executive Director Gary Slater says the fair has plans to hire out individual vendors.

"We’ll be able to have a variety of rides that is maybe different than what we had, certainly different rides, hopefully, larger more thrilling rides that we can present to the public. I think the overall quality of the show will go up," says Slater.

Slater also confirmed officials will be working to improve gate 15 as well and says planning for 2017 is already top of mind.

"We are certainly are thinking about next year as we evaluate what happened this year and tweak those things that we want to change for next year."