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The Party's Over, Campers Leave Mess Behind

Aerial view of the Craven Country Jamboree grounds near Craven, Saskatchewan, in June, prior to this year's festival.

Click here to see photos of the littered campground, courtesy of  CJME Radio, Regina, Saskatchewan.

Every year thousand of people flock from all over for the Craven Country Jamboree near Craven, Saskatchewan, then a small group is left cleaning up after the crowd.

The Craven Country Jamboree campgrounds still look like an abandoned town, and its been over a week since the festival ended.

The party crowds have left behind garbage almost as far as the eye can see, strewn across the grass and packed into the once muddy ground.

You can tell where some of the tidier campers were because the garbage is in a pile, but in others the bottles, cans, tarps and tents were left where they dropped.

Organizer Kim Blevins says the mess is no worse this year than in previous years.

"We have a large space to clean up and people tend not to be responsible for their garbage in certain parts of the campground so we have a large volume of garbage to clean up," Blevins explained.

She says the cleanup has been delayed a bit because of recent rain.

"We've been backed up a little bit just because the garbage you know, ends up getting pushed into the mud and we're working at pulling it out right now," she explained. "But there are crews out there working right now and we figure we'll be done by next week."

There are quite a few campers and even buses still out there.

Blevins also says not all of the campers and trucks still there have been abandoned, some people have waited to get them out because of the mud. She adds that if people are planning on getting them back, they need to pick them up before they're done cleaning next week.

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RV Park and Campground Briefs

NEW JERSEY

From a news release:

Cape May’s David and Maggy Robinson, owners of Holly Shores Camping Resort, recently made a generous donation of $1,500 to the Volunteers in Medicine (VIM) of Cape May County.

Volunteers in Medicine of Cape May County provides primary care and most medications at no cost to uninsured patients. Their experienced cadre of more than 100 physicians, nurse practitioners, physician assistants, ophthalmologists, registered nurses and administrative personnel volunteer their time, skill and energy to care for patients.

Since its beginning in 2002, VIM has cared for over 3,500 patients with more than 18,000 patient visits. To celebrate 10 years of “Neighbors Caring for Neighbors” VIM hosted a Celebration Brunch at the Avalon Links Golf Club on  March 11. In attendance was Sarah Mathis, marketing director of Holly Shores, on behalf of David and Maggy Robinson. They are proud supporters of VIM and have been donating to this great cause since 2002.

SASKATCHEWAN

From CKOM-Radio, Saskatoon:

Campsites officially went on sale Tuesday (March 20) for the Craven Country Jamboree, scheduled for July 12-15 near Craven Saskatchewan. There are a few spots left in the reserve area and general camping passes are available.

Last year, the campgrounds were actually off site, because the normal location was completely flooded. This year is a different story.

“We didn’t get a lot of snow this year. There’s not going to be a lot of runoff from Long Lake,” said Kim Blevins, who is with the Craven Country Jamboree.

Because of that, Blevins with the jamboree says they'll be back in the usual spot this year. And the campground area has been improved.

“We built some of our roads out there and then we went across the entire campground (and) we leveled it out, seeded and then overseeded,” she said.

Blevins jokes that they do kind of feel like farmers now, hoping that it will rain a little bit so the grass will actually grow.

Despite the struggles last year, Blevins says the changes made to the site will make them better prepared any potential major future floods.

ARKANSAS

From KAIT-TV:

Three to four inches of rain have already fallen since Monday in north-central Arkansas, and forecasters are expecting more in the next two days. Because of that heavy rainfall, several campgrounds in the Ozark-St. Francis national forests are closed at least through Thursday (March 22). They are: Haw Creek Falls Recreation Area, Horsehead Lake Recreation Area, Redding Recreation Area and Wolf Pen Recreation Area.

 

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Music Fest Over, Campground Cleanup Begins

First, the party.

Then, the hangover. The Craven Country Jamboree campgrounds near Regina, Saskatchewan, emptied out Monday (July 18), with festival goers leaving a sea of mess behind them.

Some tents and folding chairs appeared to be abandoned. Garbage and empty beverage containers were strewn throughout much of the campgrounds, though some sites were cleaner than others, the Regina Leader-Post reported. (Click here to see a photo of the campground now that the festival is over.)

"I see there's a little less mess than there usually is," said Marilyn Pollock of Regina, who has been attending the festival with her family for almost a decade.

"If there were more places to take your garbage out, I think it would have been a little bit better. A few people picked up a little bit more, but you're still going to have a mess."

Camille Ponto of Regina and Amanda Laberge of Pilot Butte were also impressed with the mess, compared to previous jamborees.

"It's probably the cleanest Craven we've seen so far," said Ponto, who added the sunny weather helped to make the weekend "the best Craven ever."

"A lot of people have actually gathered up their garbage and put it in bags and left it at their sites," said Laberge, who noted the many gophers at the campgrounds had become rather friendly with campers as the festival progressed.

Anne Marie Tanguay and Sarah Blondeau weren't at the festival. The 17-year-olds were on a road trip across Canada from their home province of Quebec.

Eventually, they'll reach their destination in British Columbia. But on Monday, they were driving from Regina to Saskatoon.

"We passed this and thought it looked like Woodstock," said Tanguay. "We arrived and it was finished."

But the girls decided to make the best of the situation. They picked up some discarded items that they thought might be useful in their travels, as well as several bags full of beer cans they planned to return for the refunds.

"We need to eat tonight," said Tanguay, with a laugh, noting the girls tried to obtain an abandoned tent, but other scavengers wouldn't relinquish their claim to the item.

"We have a team of people out there who have been collecting garbage all weekend and will continue to do so until its clean," jamboree spokeswoman Kim Blevins said about the campgrounds.

"I've heard that it's clean, considering it's Craven," she added, with a laugh. "It just depends on how on top of it people were. It might take a week, it might take three weeks or it might take a couple of days. It's part of our lease agreement to clean up that piece of property and we'll make sure it happens."

Organizers were also busy Monday tearing down stages and cleaning up the mainstage and beer gardens areas, Blevins said.

Meanwhile, RCMP were busy directing traffic as campers made their exodus from the grounds, said Sgt. Craig Cleary of the Lumsden detachment.

On Sunday night, police arrested 30 people, which was fewer than the night before. That brought the total for the weekend to 127, down from last year's 160, Cleary said. No sexual assault charges resulted from the event. The numbers of calls for service and impaired driving charges were down, he noted.

"Keeping that in perspective, the attendance was down, as well, for the event," he said, noting he wasn't sure of the total numbers, but police did hear that 17,000 people attended one concert.

"We obviously didn't sell out this year, but we're doing OK," said Blevins, who didn't have concrete numbers. "I was out front for Rascal Flatts last night, just checking the crowd, and there were a lot of people here. We're satisfied with that. It all turned out well in the end."

Great weather and understanding crowds made for "one of the best festivals we've done, all things considered," Blevins added.

Some festival goers expressed frustration with wait times for buses that transported people from the campgrounds, which were up the Lumsden Hill, to the festival site at Craven, and back. But most said the situation had improved after Friday night as organizers tweaked the shuttle system.

Crystal Wagner of Regina said that, "The buses were fun. No complaints." But her friend Barb Bezan, who was at the same campsite on Monday, didn't entirely agree.

"It got better at the end of the weekend," Bezan said, as the group was taking down their campsite. "But I wouldn't go if we have to ride the buses next year."

"The buses were a gong show on Friday, but they were really organized throughout the rest of the weekend," said Ponto.

"The bus drivers were awesome, but it's just that bumpy ride going back and forth, and you have a few people on there who are drunk and you can smell it," added Pollock. "For Friday night, we waited an hour and a half, but after that, we didn't stay until the bitter end. You got smarter as time went on."

Police were pleased with the shuttle arrangement, according to Cleary of the RCMP, who noted it might have encouraged some people not to drink and drive.

"There were times where lineups were long, but everybody seemed patient and understanding," he said. "In light of the potential logistical issues with having two sites, I think that everybody pulled together and made it a successful event."

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Mounties Brace for Big Canadian Music Fest

The RCMP is ready for the Craven Country Jamboree to be held starting this week near Regina, Saskatchewan.

“Last year, we had 160 prisoners in cells from the event,” said Sgt. Craig Cleary of the Lumsden detachment of the RCMP. “This year, certainly there’s an expectation, unfortunately, that when we have these types of crowds and the consumption of alcohol and other intoxicants, that certainly there will be police involvement.”

Considering that this year, the Jamboree is spread over two sites — the festival site at its usual location and the new campsite up the Lumsden hill — the RCMP has beefed up its contingent for the event, The Leader Post, Regina, reported.

“We’ve upped our membership from 30 to 36 in order to address the issues of the two sites and the policing thereof,” Cleary said. “We also have members dedicated to handling the traffic at the entrances to the two venues.

“Definitely, there’s a little bit of the element of the unknown, because this (having two sites) is something new this year that we haven’t co-ordinated in the past. But working in conjunction with site security, I’m very confident we’ll have a good handle on things.”

Indications are that perhaps police won’t have as many festival goers to worry about this year, Cleary said, noting, “It’s also our belief that definitely the attendance won’t be, from what we can tell, as high as in years passed.”

Still, the volume of traffic on Highway 11 is expected to be heavy this week. The road can handle more traffic than Highway 20 to Craven, but that is a mixed blessing, as there is greater potential for more serious collisions, Cleary said. But there shouldn’t be a repeat of last year’s major jam.

“It’s definitely my hope that we don’t have something like that again this year,” he said. “With the traffic signs and the specific lane designations, we’re hoping that will certainly assist in reducing traffic backup.”

As for contending with misbehaving campers, the RCMP will have a command post at each site. Resources will be dedicated to each venue based on when flows of people are expected to peak. There are things attendees should consider to avoid problems with police, Cleary added.

“We don’t want anybody parking on the highway — and that would be on Highway 11, Highway 20, as well as Russell Hill Road across from the Craven site,” he said. “Any vehicles found there will be towed immediately.”

Festival goers should also be aware of extra traffic and expect to be patient. Whether coming from the city or the campgrounds, police suggest attendees take advantage of bus services being offered. RCMP traffic services will be out in full force around the area and will be on the lookout for drinking and driving.

“Just be responsible, enjoy yourselves, have a good time, but if things get carried away, we may have to step in and deal with each situation on a case-by-case basis,” Cleary advised. “We would like for everybody to behave.”

Read more: http://www.leaderpost.com/news/RCMP+prepares+Craven+Country+Jamboree/5092010/story.html#ixzz1Rz9ov8Tp

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Flooding Moves Canadian Music Fest Camping

Thanks to flooding, thousands of country music fans who normally flock to the campgrounds at the Craven Country Jamboree in Saskatchewan will have to go elsewhere this year, CBC.ca reported.

The jamboree announced Thursday (June 30) that the campground is being moved about six miles southwest to an area north of Highway 11.

The original campground, next to the mainstage beside Craven, northwest of Regina, is under water following heavy spring runoff and a rainy June. The new site is on higher ground.

It's not an ideal situation, but it's the best option under the circumstances, jamboree spokesperson Kim Blevins said.

"We wanted to have our campers on our main festival site," Blevins said. "I think this is the best compromise and I think people will be pleasantly surprised when they get here."

Until earlier this week, the jamboree had been hoping to pump the water out, but it didn't have much time because the entertainment starts July 13 and traditionally many campers arrive early.

Then the federal Department of Fisheries and Oceans got involved. Department officials said there were fish spawning in the water and if pumping was to continue, the fish would have to be saved.

The jamboree stopped the pumps, but then Regina-Lumsden-Lake Center MP Tom Lukiwski found out.

"I was furious. Quite frankly, I was furious at the DFO," Lukiwski said.

He phoned the office of the Keith Ashfield, the minister of fisheries and oceans, and asked him to step in. Ashfield did, overruling his officials so that the pumps could start up again.

"This is not the natural habitat for fish," Lukwiski said. "And pumping operations are going on around the province. If we were to stop that reclamation projects on every piece of land across Saskatchewan we'd be in big trouble."

Festival organizers said they were pleased with the decision and will start pumping again at some point, but it's too late to reclaim the campsite this year.

The challenge in the next few weeks will be to move thousands of campers back and forth to the shows. More than 10 buses will shuttle people to and from the main stage, organizers say.

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