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State Fair Officials Squash Rumors of Property Use

Iowa State Fair (WHO-HD)

DES MOINES, Iowa —  Officials at the Iowa State Fairgrounds are working to put a rumor to rest.

A social media post went viral over the weekend claiming people are not allowed to be on fairground property unless there’s a scheduled event there.

Commander Doug Phillips with the State Fair Police Department says the fairgrounds are open to the public all day, everyday but the more than 400 acres are not public property. Phillips says the property is paid for by private dollars.

“It’s owned by the State Fair Authority and because it’s owned by the State Fair Authority it has the option of making sure there is restricted access at the times it needs to be but those times are very few and far between,” he says.

Phillips says an example of when someone may be confronted by a police officer is after dark when there are no events taking place.

“It`s a safety issue more than anything for us. We want to make sure the folks who come to the fairgrounds can feel safe and secure.”

The department is made of up certified, sworn-in police officers. Officials say they switched to staffing a full-time police force in January to provide better safety for fairground goers year round.