BUFFALO — Buffalo will play host to the second annual “Longmire Days” Aug. 16-18, a celebration of A&E’s original hit drama series and The New York Times best-selling Walt Longmire mystery series written by Johnson County resident and author Craig Johnson.
The television series is in its second year and has become one of A&E’s most popular shows with more than four million viewers. The series weaves the story of a dedicated and charismatic yet emotionally troubled small-town sheriff who seeks out the truth as secrets, betrayal and murder swirl in fictional Absaroka County, Wyo.
In addition to a full schedule of community events, actors from the series will be making appearances, including Adam Bartley (The Ferg), Cassidy Freeman (Cady Longmire), Bailey Chase (Branch Connally), Katee Sackhoff (Victoria ‘Vic’ Moretti), and Robert Taylor (Sheriff Walt Longmire). In addition, Lou Diamond Phillips, who plays Henry Standing Bear, will attend if his schedule allows.
The event began last year with a smaller scale version of the celebration.
“We had a Longmire Day last year,” said Brittiny Morrison, office assistant at the Buffalo Chamber of Commerce who is helping organize the event. “It was the first time we did it and it was a small event. We didn’t know how much interest there would be, since it was still the first season of the show. This year when we found out that the actors were wanting to come for our day, in collaboration with the state, we created it into a two-day event. It has really blown up into something even bigger than we ever expected and we are super excited.”
Morrison said interest in the event has spread nationwide, with calls coming in from Colorado, Georgia and other states. Many of the activities are booking up quickly, as are hotel rooms in Buffalo.
“I would say this is busier than any other event we’ve had in terms of people coming to stay and shop and eat,” Morrison said. “(Hotel) rooms are almost completely booked. Some people are having to stay in Sheridan and come down for the day because our hotels are just booked full.”
Morrison said she estimates that the town’s size will double, with 3,000-5,000 visitors expected to converge on the town for the weekend event.
One of the big draws is the chance to meet Craig Johnson, the creator of the mystery series, as well as many of the actors who will be attending the event.
“During the pancake breakfast there will be an autograph session and there will be two more signings, one Saturday evening at the Occidental and one on Sunday at the library,” Morrison said. “In addition to that, the actors will be at many of these events.
They’ll be at the softball game and pancake breakfast and some of the actors will be at the different activities on Sunday. One is golfing, one is horseback riding and one is playing softball. There will be several opportunities where folks can meet and greet the actors.”
The event kicks off Friday with events including several local establishments hosting live music, Longmire-themed dinner specials and small events. And the brewers at the award-winning Clear Creek Brewery on Main Street have concocted a special batch of “Absaroka Ale” for the occasion.
For more information, registrations and lodging options, contact the Buffalo Chamber of Commerce at 684-5544, visit the chamber website at www.buffalowyo.com, or visit the Wyoming Travel and Tourism Office website at www.wyomingtourism.org.