When the main parking lot for the fair fills up, people find front lawns and neighborhood driveways to park on.
Inside the fairgrounds, you can get good eats and tasty treats but outside the gates, fairgoers are buying homemade parking spots.
“It’s only a couple of blocks away and it’s $5 cheaper, so we are trying to save that money so we can spend it at the fair,” said Kristi Castaneda, a fairgoer.
Front yards turned into makeshift parking lots and it’s been a long-time tradition for areas around the fair.
“We saw other people on our street doing it and we said that’s a good idea to make some extra money,” said John Thomas, who lives on Park Street.
Members of a local fraternal service organization have 120 spots just a few steps from the fair.
They are hoping the weekend will be as busy as opening day.
“By 7:30 p.m. it was super hectic because we were full and we had people trying to get in,” said Richard Hoffman, who manages a parking lot near Pine St.
Hoffman says at one point they had to turn people away.
“People coming in until the point where we had to stop them because we didn’t have any more space and then people were still waiting for other people to leave,” said Lisa King, who supervises the parking lot with Hoffman.
They say the money brought in this year will go towards their organization’s charities.
Others say the two-week-long pop-up business helps offset living costs.
“About $3,000 I think,” says Gregory Espinoza, who sells parking spots. “It’s perfect man, it helps to pay bills.”
For some, it’s become a family tradition.
“Our kids talked us into so they flag down the cars and we park them,” said Maria Dominguez, who lives near the fairgrounds.
Uber drivers who say they saw surge pricing opening day from about 10:30 p.m to midnight.
The California Mid-State Fair is charging $20 for parking and profits benefit local organizations.