The Central Washington State Fair helps nearby residents make some money - NBC Right Now/KNDO/KNDU Tri-Cities, Yakima, WA |

The Central Washington State Fair helps nearby residents make some money

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YAKIMA, Wash.- The Central Washington State Fair brings in a lot people and money. For nearby residents, having a parking lot is good business.

This isn't your usual parking lot. It is a front yard temporarily used to park cars. Each spot sells at around five dollars. The money goes towards the Bethel A.M.E. Church.    

"This is just going into that budget to pay for the basic needs of the church," said Leone Cheatol, a church member.

It may look empty early on, but in the evenings they can get about 50 cars to park there. That's $250 a day. While there are plenty of other parking lots, most aren't like this one.

"We'll see people we know out there, you know they come up to us, stop by and talk," said Cheatol,

These church members spend their time laughing and catching up. They started camping out here in the 1980's. On slow years like this one, making money is crucial for their church programs.

"One program is we try to get lunches out for people, but if you don't have money, you don't do the lunches," said Terry Cox, a church member.

Church members say they have many regulars and they are sure they will stop by. Until then, they will all just be hanging out like usual.

"There will be more people when they get off work, then we'll have our pastor feed us," said Cox.

This parking project usually raises several thousand dollars. This year, they're hoping to make just that, enough to get them through the holidays.