Parking cars - how hard could it be?

By Chris Bellingham.

When I signed up for parking duties at the County Fair, I was not sure what to expect but I elected to put my name down for all six evening shifts - 5:15pm - 9:30pm. How hard could it be? I used this video as my training guide.

I picked the evening shift for two reasons. Firstly, I may be an Englishman but I'm no fan of the mid-day sun. Secondly, I figured that most of the hard work will have been done during the day. In the evening, I would not-so-much be parking cars but helping them leave. (This turned out to be only partially true.)

On my very first shift I worked 'the point,' which is the point where the incoming traffic is directed to whichever of the parking areas is active. It gets a little hectic there at times but if you have eyes in the back of your head, it's cake.

Over the course of my remaining shifts I worked many of the other areas. The level of difficulty is low. The tricky bit is keeping up with the incoming traffic when the volume increases.

I found the visitors to be generally good natured, even after sitting in a slow-moving line, waiting to park. A little humor helps. One lady, facing a long walk back to her car, asked if I could call her a shuttle bus so I told her "You're a shuttle bus." The driver of a pickup truck commented on my accent so I told him I was from Brooklyn. Both comments were met with warm smiles.

I'm told that the gate on Saturday was about 96,000. By the time I got there for the evening shift, cars were parked all the way to the lights in Chatham, and in the ball park opposite the fair.

It was a lot of fun and I will be signing up for more next year.

Here are a few photos from the last day, Monday.


The Point


 Keeping the dust under control.


A Shuttle Bus (6-seater golf cart)


We were all equipped with a light saber to deal with difficult drivers.


Some were in better condition than others (I'm referring to the light saber here)


Parking on the hill


Parking in the fingers


Elks Transportation



End of a shift