Homeowners Take Advantage of State Fair by Allowing People to Park on Lawns

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DES MOINES, Iowa -- Parking at the state fair can be a win-win for both drivers and local homeowners.

The closer you get to the fairgrounds, the higher the price you'll pay for parking. But if you look around, you could get lucky and save $10 or $20.

“It`s great. I wouldn`t do it, because I love my lawn but it`s honestly really nice of them,” said Jake Bruggeman. “I wasn`t expecting it, I figured we`d have to wait at least like 20 minutes to get parking. But we did a pretty good job here.”

For those who avail their yards for parking, damage to the lawns are something that just comes with the territory.

“Of course, you can see it, there`s marks where they were trying to hop the curb and stuff but that`s all part of the game, we`ll fix it when they`re gone,” said Chris Flannery.

At East 29th Street and the corner of Capitol Avenue, homeowner Isaac Swieter has been charging for parking for years. For the rest of the year, he and his wife run a small business, providing home, lawn and snow services.

“I closed the business opportunity for me to stay at home with the kids and the wife for 10 days,” said Swieter. “We get to see all the people, meet all of our regular customers. We`ve lived here for 12 years, so we have folks that come by on a regular to see us, they know us by first name and we know them by first name.”

And it's not just about the money he makes.

“I enjoy it. I enjoy the people. I enjoy the time with my family and being self-employed,” said Swieter. “I don`t get an average vacation like everybody else. It allows me to still have some source of income and still be with my family, have a good time, enjoy friends and people that have become friends from doing it for so long.”

Homeowners say the biggest challenges that comes with allowing people to park on their yards is the backup of traffic, people acting impatient, not paying attention while driving, and putting the safety of others at risk.

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