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Iowa State Fair lemonade stand responds to being banned after accusations of underreporting sales

Dad's Old-Fashioned Lemonade has been at the state fair for more than 70 years.

DES MOINES, Iowa — Dad’s Old Fashioned Lemonade Stand has been an Iowa State Fair staple for 70 years. But they may have served their last cold beverage.

A letter sent to the vendor cites contract violations as the reason for the termination. Following an audit from the Iowa Department of Revenue, the stand was accused of underreporting sales—an allegation that the owner denies.

"We have a lot of friends that come, we have a lot of employees. The fruit guys, the ice people...we give a lot away. I don't know if that was included or how that happened," Owner Diane Perry said.

The letter from fair officials says that "Although the discrepancies discovered by the Iowa Department of Revenue have been addressed for 2022, the Iowa State Fair cannot in good faith offer a continuation of previous one-year contracts." 

Perry feels that the explanation doesn't tell the whole story.

"We don't have those great big concession trailers, and it's just a family-run business, and I don't think we made enough money for them," she said.

Dad's Old-Fashioned Lemonade has no plans to change the fair's mind. For now, they're more focused on remembering all the fair visitors who made their 70 years so special.

"They're going to miss us and I'm going to miss them. We've made lifelong friends out there," Perry said.

The Iowa State Fair said in a statement: 

"The Iowa Department of Revenue made the Fair aware of fraud taking place during the 2022 Iowa State Fair by concessions operators and in response will not be offering them a future contract to do business."

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