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Minnesota State Fair neighbors cash in with lawn parking

In the Tilden neighborhood of St. Paul, offering $20 parking near the fairgrounds can net residents as much as $1,000.

ST PAUL, Minn. — Minnesota State Fair traditions for most people usually involve spending plenty of money on food and rides. But for those who live around the fair, they can end up making money, often thousands.

It's 8 a.m. at the corner of Canfield Avenue and Arona Street in St. Paul, and Justin Dale, who's lived in the area almost ten years, is starting his state fair tradition outside the gates.

"Twenty bucks is the going average for our block on this side," Dale said.

At a time when parking is scarce, neighbors in St. Paul's Tilden neighborhood offer up their lawn space for fair-goers' vehicles.

"You wanna park cars on your yard and if you don't, people will park their cars on your yard," Tina Clark said, laughing.

Clarke moved in across from the fairgrounds five years ago.

"My neighbor said, 'So are you looking forward to parking cars in your yard?' and I was like, 'Why would I park cars on my yard?'" Clark said.

She quickly learned why.

"I know the guy who owned the house before me. I think he made like $6,000 more a year. I'm not able to work right now and this is going to be my bus and food money for the year," she said.

The extra income means not only more toys for 4-year-old Duncan, but more money for his eventual college education.

"He's my helper, but he does get to play his Switch while we're out here because it gets a little bit boring for him," Jacob Ausman said.

"A lot of us put the state fair money back into the neighborhood in some way, either upgrades to our houses or whatnot. It keeps the neighborhood really nice actually," Dale said.

So for Dale, it's "fair" compensation.

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