CRAVEN, SK – The more than 20,000 people come for the music, the friends and the drinks.
The party is on at Craven Country Jamboree 2014, with large group-camping sites putting on a big bash.
“People come up just out of the blue and go, ‘How’s it going? Happy Craven!’ said Kim Ross, attending for a second year. “They’re just so friendly.”
Large groups tend to stay away from reserved plots instead of gravitating towards general campsites, which were in high demand this year. Reserved camping jumped from 1,900 to roughly 4,400 sites – cutting down on the first-come, first-served options.
“I didn’t know there was a limit on the number of general camping sites and this year they ran out,” said a nine-time Craven camper, who bought one of the 200 sites released much closer to the event.
The time had come for a little more organization, said Craven organizer Kim Blevins, including sites that are already divided up.
“The years of people coming out and staking out a half-acre of land for a little trailer are over,” Blevins said Thursday morning. “We have limited space out here, so we wanted to make sure we could maximize it and get as many people in here as possible to have some fun.”
It does leave campers showing up at the last minute in a bit of a pinch. If they can’t find their own plot in the general camping area, the only option left is to squeeze in with another group.
Others planned well in advance, choosing to reserve as soon as tickets went on sale over the winter.
“You get a better spot if you book early, for sure,” said one camper.
Though, during Craven weekend, even a cramped campsite won’t spoil the fun for a group of three girls that had to pitch a tent beside a group of strangers.
“You really get to meet people, that’s for sure. (You have to) cozy up!”