New parking wardens will begin issuing fines three days before the Lincoln Christmas Market.
The civil powers will be in the hands of Lincolnshire County Council by the end of November and tickets slapped on windscreens from December 3.
And a warning shot will be fired to drivers parking where they shouldn't, with notices on cars a week before the real penalties are introduced.
On-street enforcement powers have been transferred to the county council from the police at a cost of £1.114 million a year.
Fines will cover £940,000 of the money required, with the extra £174,000 coming out of the council's highways budget.
The authority says it is taking control at the earliest opportunity.
A county council report said this would "minimise the gap when the police are likely to offer little enforcement".
It also explained the start date would "coincide with the busy Christmas period when indiscriminate parking can cause significant traffic disruption".
Lincoln Christmas Market attracted 335,000 visitors last year.
People are advised to use the park and ride scheme at Lincolnshire Showground during the four-day festive market to avoid city centre congestion.
Executive member for highways and transportation, councillor William Webb, said: "Taking on these new parking enforcement powers means we can do more to keep people moving safely on the roads, reducing congestion from inconsiderate parking, and supporting businesses with parking bays outside.
"We are delighted at the encouraging comments people have been making and hope this move will make a real difference to their journeys and mean they can visit local shops with ease."
The Department for Transport (DfT) is expected to hand over civil parking enforcement (CPE) powers to the county council, on November 30.
The council added the county was one of the last places in the country to apply for the powers from the DfT.
Matt Corrigan, chief executive of Lincoln Business Improvement Group, said: "I think the majority of businesses welcome better traffic management.
"We see a lot of cars in areas that should be used for businesses, like access ways and loading areas, and this should allow space for that activity.
"There should also be space for people to pop into shops rather than other cars spending the whole day there.
"The Christmas market will be an early challenge but the enforcement should help in terms of access to the market."
The police said the number of wardens had reduced in the last five years in anticipation of the switch.
But one warden will continue to operate in Lincoln until the council takes over.
APCOA Parking (UK) has been contracted to supply 20 wardens while Nottinghamshire County Council will process the fines.
Off-street parking offences in North Kesteven, West Lindsey and South Kesteven will be dealt with under the county council's contract.
The remaining authorities will continue to make their own arrangements for their off-street car parks.