Calm before the Thunder: Country Thunder grounds now open
The gates of Country Thunder in Craven officially opened up on Tuesday morning, two days ahead of the festival’s first shows of the year.
Mike Dacey and his friends pulled their campers into Craven Tuesday morning as they’ve done every year since 1983.
"It’s one location where you can see all your favourite country artists,” said Mike Dacey. “We don’t have to travel to see them, they come to us, so that's what I like. I like having my buddies nearby and we can just have a good time and we don’t have far to go home because our campers are right here."
Dacey’s group of campers has even made a sign for the big event reading: “Welcome to the Fabulous Las Craven”.
The group always camps at the same site and pay to keep it for next year before they even know the lineup.
"I'm excited to see Jake Owen on Friday night and obviously Chris Stapleton,” Dacey said. “It will be nice to see him because he's won all those Grammies and I think this is one of his only dates in Canada."
Staff members are working on getting the grounds ready for the weekend.
Officials say it takes about three days to get everything finished.
Those who are coming can expect new activities to take part in.
"We got line dance lessons here,” said Gerry Krochak, Director of Marketing & Media relations, Country Thunder. “Budweiser is presenting High Impact Pro Wrestling in the beer garden every day at 4:30 p.m. We got a Vegas style beach party volley ball tournament and $10,000 in prizes up for grabs and we have a sling shot ride which has been a huge hit at our U.S. festivals. It's making its Canadian debut."
Brittainy Hedin has been bringing her food booth, Family Fun Foods, from Moose Jaw to Craven for four years. She and her husband take time off work to attend the music festival. For them, there’s plenty to love about the weekend.
"The thing that I love about Craven and Country Thunder is everybody is so happy and positive,” said Brittainy Hedin, co-owner, Family Fun Foods. “Everybody just walks by and says happy craven, I wish you a merry craven. Nobody is ever in a bad mood or grumpy, it’s just a really fun atmosphere."
Country Thunder Saskatchewan 2019 kicks off on Thursday and runs through Sunday, and is expected to draw around 20,000 people.