The gates to the Craven Country Thunder campground opened Tuesday morning, with only a few dozen campers beating the rush.
Festival veteran Mike Dacey and his crew were among the first to set up camp — including their homemade plywood dance floor complete with a gazebo, lights and a sign that reads “Welcome to Fabulous Las Craven.”
“If it rains, we’re dry and we can dance and have fun and play music all night long,” he explained, adding everyone who wanders through is welcome.
“We have people sign (the dance floor) every year with their names and they just leave messages of ‘happy Craven’ and et cetera.”
Jackie Stich has been joining the group at the festival for more than a decade and said since the dance floor was added in the centre of their combined four campsites in 2014, it’s been a big highlight.
“I just like watching all the people have fun and dancing and tripping over things,” she joked.
However, most of all, Stich noted the reconnecting with old friends is her favourite part.
“Now that we got the gold passes, the same people are around every year, so it’s nice to come back and see all the people again.”
Country Thunder Saskatchewan officially kicks off Wednesday with music in the beer gardens.
The main stage opens Thursday night with headliners Clay Walker and Big & Rich.
The festival has also announced a new bag policy this year.
No large backpacks, large purses, large camera bags and coolers are allowed on Main Street or in the grandstand concert bowl area.