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Wellington Daily News - Wellington, KS
  • Column: Surviving the Walnut Valley Landrush

  • Another Walnut Valley Festival is almost here. Since moving to Kansas I have become a festival junkie. I've only missed one since 2000.
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  • Another Walnut Valley Festival is almost here. Since moving to Kansas I have become a festival junkie. I've only missed one since 2000.
    Even so, it's just my second time to camp, and I survived my second Landrush Thursday morning.
    There are people who park their campers a month ahead of time to get a good place in line. They know the routine. I was still trying to figure out what to do or even where the line is. You do get a number in line, but once you enter the camping area, there is no longer a line. There is just mass chaos, vehicles everywhere. There are no marked spaces, just fields with trees and electric poles.
    My first Landrush was 3 years ago, and I did learn a little bit. The biggest thing I learned is that it is a real Landrush and there are no rules. You just find a spot and park where you can.
    I arrived thursday morning at about 6 a.m., and the Landrush was to start at 7 a.m. My ticket said I was No. 399 in line. By seven there were several behind me, so I wasn't last by any means. Still, there were 398 campers going to enter before I did.
    This time I had a plan though. I had a couple of places in mind of where I might like to camp. We all have preferences. I like it up front near the gates to where the music is. The downside to that is there is constant traffic going by. Other people like the back edges where it not so loud. I sleep very soundly, so I won't be bothered by any noise if I do happen to sleep while there.
    My first time, I drove around trying to figure out what to do, and still ended up with a good spot. This time I went to my two locations I had in mind, and just parked as fast as I could. I looked around to see if anyone was going to object to where I was parking, but everyone else was busy setting up their campsites and no one noticed.
    I got a spot near the entrance. It isn't exactly level, but it will provide easy access to the stages or to the camping areas. I will have to try to level up the camper some this weekend.
    The music is great at the festival. They may call it Bluegrass, but it has a lot more styles of music to offer. The biggest appeal to me is the whole atmosphere. It really is a different world for a few days each year.
    The campgrounds are also a major attraction. Even if you are not camping, they are fun to wander around in at all hours of the day or night.
    Page 2 of 2 - At any given time there is liable to be a jam session break out. You can even join in and no one really cares if you are any good or not. It is just about the music.
    I have wandered around in the campgrounds all night before, and it is true, when the sun came up, there were still people playing music.
    The festival doesn't start until next Thursday (though there are some special events next Wednesday). But the campgrounds have started already.
    Ill be there through next week. I'm sure the paper will be fine without me for a week. Ill try to post some updates along the way.
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