Wild weather takes shape at festival honoring the Wild West

LEAVENWORTH, Kan. -- Friday night's wind and rain washed out plenty of outdoor activities. Even though the storms were pretty slow-moving, some people at the Buffalo Bill Days Festival were left with nowhere to go when they came.

The three-day festival at Ray Miller Park features re-enactors living like they did in the Old West. At least 100 people were camping out at the festival, regardless of the weather.

“We were kind of looking up north and seeing it up there, thinking maybe it’s not going to come here, but we checked the radar and it looks like it’s coming,” re-enactor Rob Johnson said.

So when the storms were about to move in, people battened down the hatches, tying down their tents, and trying to use tarps and everything they could to create fortresses to defend them against the wind and rain.

One thing they couldn’t protect from the rain was their campfires.

“The only thing we have to do is cover the pile of firewood and keep it dry for the rest of the weekend,” Civil War re-enactor Richard Spacek said.

After the downpour started, people were still scurrying to keep things not tied down from becoming projectiles. For most of the campers, outdoor living is a way of life. They were well-prepared for Mother Nature, but hoping for some sunshine to bring back the crowds.

“Inevitably it rains, you just deal with it. It’s not that bad unless it goes completely horizontal, we should be fine,” Johnson said.

The festival is slated to continue throughout the weekend. However, late Friday night, a significant portion of the festival grounds were under water.