When the gates opened for the Craven Country Jamboree on Tuesday morning, the ground was already muddy and pocked with puddles all over.
The heavy rain prompted organizers to close the gates within two hours of opening.
“To ensure the safety of our campers and to preserve the integrity of our road system,” organizers said in a Facebook post.
A few dozen people were able to get their campers situated before then. There were about two dozen waiting in line before the gates opened.
Lorraine Lansdell was at the front of the line, and said she left home at 4:30 a.m. to get there. For her, the festival is a bit of a family reunion; her mother-in-law was in line beside her, along with Lansdell’s nephew.
Festival goer Jennings Kelly was one line over and a few campers back. He said the rain helped him get to Craven earlier than expected.
“I’m on night shift, so we got shut down last night,” he said.
Kelly said he wanted to get set up early because it’s easier than having to maneuver around a lot of people.
Nic Lynch pulled up just as the gates were opening. He said the rain is the reason to get there early.
“It’s kind of every year now that we deal with the rain and the mud. So get (to Craven) a little bit early and we don’t have to get stuck as many times.”
This is a strategy Lynch has developed after getting stuck in the mud several times in the past.
Despite the rain coming down and the forecast for more in the next day or so, none of the people in line seemed too worried. Most were excited about the shows they were going to see including the Zac Brown Band and Sunday headliner, Eric Church.
The rain didn’t seem a big concern for organizers either around the time the gates were opening. Kim Blevins, with the festival, said while things might go slow, they’ll be able to get everyone in.
“You know what, it’s Craven,” Blevins laughed. “I don’t think we’ve ever had a Craven without water.”
The gates will open again Wednesday afternoon at 2 p.m. Those heading to the festival from out of town will be able to stay at Evraz Place in Regina for the night, lots B and C.