By Maggie Dunning
Staff reporter



At 6:45 a.m. towns have a certain sleepy, quiet, calm feeling to them. At this time in the morning few people are actually awake and active by choice.

The same cannot be said for the campers at the Winfield Fairgrounds. At 6:45 a.m. on Sept. 6, the dedicated campers were up and ready for the day to begin.

Each year the Winfield Fairgrounds are over run by campers arriving there to get in line early to receive their favorite camping spots.

People all across Kansas come weeks in advance to participate in the Line-Up and the Land Rush. The Land Rush is the second major camping highlight of the Walnut Valley Festival.

Every camper and employee was ready for the excitement of the land rush to start.

The exit to the campgrounds was desolate at 6:58 a.m. but by 6:59 a.m. the first camper in line was already driving toward it at full speed. Then it was 7 a.m. and the camper was heading through the gate.

A seemingly never-ending line of campers followed the first. New and old, each had its own unique charm.

From psychedelic buses to candy painted R.Vs, the fairground was alive with colors and smiles. The air was alive with excitement and anticipation to set up camp.

Participants were excited to see their camping friends after a whole year away from them. Those waiting in line agreed that it was the camping that had them lining up early in anticipation, not the festival.

The people that were even more excited than the campers were the festival workers. Bright and chipper like children on Christmas morning they were hyped up and ready to go. Staff and security animatedly watched the cars and campers go by.

Even while being interviewed, staff and security watched the cars with such childlike enthusiasm it was hard not to feel their excitement.

Campers need not worry that the fast pace of the festival will become too hectic. Employees have the proceedings down like a well-oiled machine.

Within two hours all of the campers are out of the fairgrounds and to their designated camping spaces. From beginning to end the employees of the festival kept the process quick, easy, and professional.

Maggie Dunning is a freshman majoring in communication. You can reach her at