H-CALIFORNIA MID-STATE FAIR

Jul 26, 2012 3:38 AM by Hope Hanselman, KSBY News

Local church cashes in on Mid-State Fair crowds

As Brad Paisley brought in some of the biggest crowds yet to the Mid-State Fair Wednesday night, parking around the grounds was pretty tough.

But one local church found a way to make the most of the masses, and turn them into cash.

La Luz Del Mundo uses the fair as a fundraiser each year. They charge for parking near their church and are always a good reason to arrive with an empty stomach.

"People love our tacos," Maura Sorino, the pastor's wife, said.

Turns out, the best food at the Mid-State Fair is served up hot, fresh and right outside the gates.

"I came by last night to get tamales and they were sold out, so I got two tacos. They were great, so I thought before I go into the show tonight I'd stop by and get their tamales," Earl Schlickeiser, of San Luis Obispo, said.

Every year this congregation of about 75 devotes two weeks to preparing the best Mexican food around.

"Now we've made friends here," said Robert Collins, of Paso Robles, who comes back for those famous tacos each year. "They know us, we're regulars here."

The money raised is split between sending the children of the congregation on trips and expanding the church. It's a cause more valuable than any paycheck, though it doesn't come without a cost.

"We're here from eight in the morning until one or two the next day," Sorino said.

Even 77-year-old Maria Sanchez will be one of the last to call it quits.

"She doesn't get tired, because God gives her strength," Maria's granddaughter, Ada, translated for her.

They will serve about a thousand people on a busy night, but it won't slow them down.

"You don't really get tired at all," Ada said. "When you're surrounded by happiness, you don't get tired. You don't even feel the time pass by."

So served up with a plate of fresh floutas, you'll also get a side of faith.

You can stop by La Luz Del Mundo on the corner of Riverside and Gregory right outside the gates.

They'll be serving food and selling parking spaces until the fair ends.

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