BUFFALO — The town of Buffalo had hints of a red carpet Hollywood event this weekend, as Longmire Days attracted the cast of the hit television series, “Longmire,” along with the author of the popular books and hundreds of fans of both.
Author Craig Johnson, a resident of Ucross, used the Sheridan and Johnson County region for inspiration when he developed the fiction-based-on-fact book series. His stories center on Sheriff Walt Longmire, a no-nonsense lawman who maintains order in fictional Absaroka County.
Johnson’s books were picked up by the Arts & Entertainment channel last year, and the crime-drama television show quickly became the channel’s most-viewed program.
Longmire Days in Buffalo is a local tribute to the national success of Johnson’s talent and a celebration of the unique local culture that serves as a canvas for the pop culture mystery series.
Brittiny Morrison, office assistant for the Buffalo Chamber of Commerce, said the weekend’s crowd was a mix of both local fans and friends of Johnson as well as people from all around the nation.
“People all over who were genuine Longmire fans who were so excited to be there and meet the actors they see on TV,” she said.
Longmire Days is a relatively new tradition for Buffalo, and this year ushered in the introduction of several new events to appeal to fans.
Saturday morning, a well-attended pancake breakfast sponsored by the local Kiwanis Club gave early risers a first crack at meeting the author and entire cast of the television series to get autographs. Afterward, a weekend of community festivities included games, public engagements and even Basque Dancers.
This year, fans with extra cash could buy an opportunity to spend exclusive time with television cast members to go horseback riding, skeet shooting or golfing.
“One of the most popular events of the weekend was the horseback ride,” Morrison said of the opportunity that went for $200 per person. “It filled up within 48 hours after we opened registration.”
Morrison said Sunday night’s karaoke event at the Occidental Hotel again featured cast members and drew a crowd so large that some patrons had to wait outside in order to comply with the historic building’s fire code.
Morrison said the Buffalo Chamber of Commerce is still crunching the numbers to determine total attendance and money raised over the weekend.