Longmire Ferg's Ride

"The Ferg," Adam Bartley, lets out a whoop as the riders take off on a benefit poker run in Buffalo during Longmire Days 2019. This year's event has been postponed until August.

Bulletin photo

Johnson County’s biggest tourism weekend has been pushed back to August as announced recently by the Longmire Foundation.

According to the foundation, the decision comes as COVID-19 continues to spread throughout Wyoming and the country.

“The safety of event attendees, our local community and the actors who so generously donate their time are first and foremost in our minds, and we feel this additional month will give the event the time that may be necessary for large scale events to be possible, according to the rules set forth by the State of Wyoming,” the Longmire Foundation wrote in a statement on the Longmire Days website. “We also feel event attendees may require the extra time to change travel plans and feel safe and secure traveling to Durant (aka Buffalo), Wyoming. We want to see everyone, and we want everyone to be safe.”

The event, which was originally scheduled for July 16-19, has been postponed to Aug. 13-16. In its announcement, the Longmire Foundation acknowledged that the event may still be canceled entirely, depending on the evolving public health situation around the country and the world.

“We cannot guarantee that the event won’t be canceled at a future time due to the rapidly changing situation,” the foundation wrote. “We cannot predict what may or may not happen come August.”

The annual Longmire Days event – a celebration of Ucross author Craig Johnson’s Walt Longmire character and novels –  brings approximately 10,000 fans to Buffalo and Johnson County, and they spend about $2 million each year, according to longtime event organizer Jennifer McCormick. That provides Buffalo businesses with a major financial boost, with some reporting up to 300% increases in business during the weekend of the event. Attendees travel from across the country and the world for Longmire Days, with past attendees coming from as far as Australia and the United Kingdom.

Celebrities that had been confirmed for Longmire Days 2020 include actors Robert Taylor, Adam Bartley, Katee Sackhoff, Bailey Chase and Zahn McClarnon. A schedule of events and ticket information will be announced in the coming months if the event moves forward.

“Please stay safe, wash your hands, maintain social distancing, and let’s all hope we get through this before the event so we can all come together again and celebrate as a Longmire-loving community,” the foundation wrote.

Stephen Dow covers a variety of beats for the Buffalo Bulletin including the Johnson County Commissioners and JCSD #1. Stephen is a Billings native who joined the Bulletin in 2016.

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