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Iowa State Fair parking attendant celebrates 15 years at the fair

One of the most stressful parts of the fair can be parking. Luckily, there's a special lady who helps you get to where you need to go, year, after year.

DES MOINES, Iowa — As soon as your tires hit the gravel lots of the Iowa State Fair, Noelle Carroll is there with a smile and a helping hand waiting to guide you.  

"We're trying to do the best that we can, and we'll make sure you get where you're going. We could park 210 cars in this lot if we do it the right way," she said.

For over a decade, her smile has been the first the fairgoers see while on their way to a day full of fun.

"We got the contract 15 years ago. We've had up to 10 different lots across the fairgrounds, which is all permit parking," Carroll told Local 5.

For Carroll, it's more than parking cars and directing traffic that brings her back each year. The fair has been something that connects her and her family for generations. 

"We participated ever since we were little. And then when our kids were born, we — of course — same thing."

Her advice to visitors who are worried about parking: be ready to wait.

"You will have to be patient waiting in long lines, especially on days like Older Iowans' Day which is [Wednesday], Veterans' Day which is Monday. If it's a political year, you'll have long lines for that as well. If it's a huge name, country or rock and roll, you know at the Grandstand, just be patient," Carroll said.

When the last car fills the lot, Carroll and her family have one destination in mind. 

"We are the ones that love the state fair. So as soon as we get done parking, we go inside. We're here 11 days, and we go in pretty much all 11 days. So, we're here a lot of hours, but we love it. Some people enjoy it. Some people don't. We're the ones that love it."

Local 5 and CW Iowa 23 are bringing exciting 2023 Iowa State Fair experiences to you, from live newscasts to an interactive Local 5 Weather Lab experience. Come see us in front of the Administration Building (Grand Concourse) each day between 9 a.m. and 8 p.m.

WATCH: Complete coverage of the 2023 Iowa State Fair

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