Sheriff Walt Longmire may have retired at the end of his Netflix series, but his diehard fans won’t let him ride off into the sunset just yet.
“‘Longmire’ really continues to be a phenomenon,” said Jennifer McCormick, director of marketing and programs for the Buffalo Chamber of Commerce. “I’ve had a number of people contact me for the first time about Longmire Days this year. A lot of them have just discovered the series on Netflix. I don’t have an exact number of how many people will be coming to our event this year, but I don’t see the numbers going down anytime soon. Old Walt is just as popular as he’s ever been.”
The chamber recently released the schedule for the eighth annual Longmire Days event, which is set for July 18-21 and should provide fans new and old with plenty of opportunities to fall in love with the endearing sheriff of Absaroka County and his pals The Ferg, Vick and Jacob Nighthorse.
“As always, we have a lot of fun planned,” McCormick said. “It promises to be another great event.”
A new addition to the festival this year is a bluegrass concert preceding the annual Cowboys vs. Indians softball game on July 19, McCormick said. The concert will be offered in cooperation with the Bighorn Bluegrass Camp and will feature performances by camp students, Prairie Wildfire, Horseshoes and Hand Grenades and “Longmire” actor John Bishop.
With a concert scheduled for Friday, the chamber is canceling the longstanding closing concert on Sunday night to hold a volunteer appreciation event, McCormick said.
“We do a volunteer reception every year because we couldn’t put on this event without the volunteers,” McCormick said. “But we previously held the event on Thursday, and we had to wrap it up pretty quickly so that we could work on the next day’s events. Moving to Sunday gives our volunteer reception more room to breathe and allows us to extend the time we spend thanking our amazing volunteers.”
While there are a few minor changes to the schedule this year, the chamber decided to largely stick with the tried and true, McCormick said. Among this year’s events are autograph sessions, celebrity conversations, the Longmire parade, Native American performances, “Tea with Ruby” and a street dance.
As always, the chance to hang out with beloved celebrities will be one of the event’s main attractions, McCormick said. Among the actors who will attend this year’s festival are event veterans Robert Taylor, Adam Bartley, Louanne Stephens, Zahn McClarnon, A Martinez, Bailey Chase and John Bishop. A newcomer this year is Jeffrey De Serrano, who played Hector in four episodes of the series.
“We’re really excited that he’s coming,” McCormick said. “It will be cool to bring a new familiar face to Longmire Days.”
Craig Johnson, Ucross resident and author of the Longmire book series, will also return for this year’s event, McCormick said.
If the celebrities are the face of Longmire Days, the volunteers are the heart, McCormick said. It takes roughly 200 volunteers to put on the event each year, and McCormick said she would love more local volunteers from Buffalo.
“We have a lot of our repeat visitors volunteering, which is great,” McCormick said. “But somebody from out of town may not be able to direct people to the Dash Inn or other places of interest in town. We can always use more volunteers, and we would love some more local participation.”
Potential volunteers can contact the chamber at 684-5544 for more information, McCormick said. General admission tickets for the four-day event, along with tickets for the celebrity conversations, can be purchased at eventbrite.com. For a complete Longmire Days schedule, visit http://buffalowyo.com/content/eview/7.