Strumming from a Robert Taylor guitar entertained the crowd in the autograph line.
David Shaw sang a Johnny Cash song Saturday morning while waiting to have the guitar signed by actors and producers of the “Longmire” TV show during Longmire Days in Buffalo.
Seven cast members, as well as director James Muro, and others from the set began to greet fans inside the Cowboy Carousel Center.
“I’m going to have my Robert Taylor signed by Robert Taylor,” David said, pointing to the label inside the guitar bearing the same name as the actor who portrays Sheriff Longmire. He and his wife, Stephanie Shaw, drove from Odessa, Texas, to celebrate their first anniversary at the three-day event that continues through Sunday.
Longmire Days started as a chalk art festival with a book signing by author Craig Johnson, who lives in nearby Ucross and writes the “Longmire” book series. The series is based in Johnson County, called Absaroka County in his books. It’s grown to an event topping more than 10,000 attendees from all over the U.S. and even other countries, said Angela Fox, Buffalo Chamber of Commerce CEO and event organizer.
That more than doubles the Buffalo population of about 4,700 for the event that includes actor appearances, a parade, a street dance, car show and horseback rides, and musical and dance performances, she said.
“We’re proud to have Craig Johnson part of our community and him writing about the people in it,” Fox said. “It gives it a tribute to what Wyoming is really about, and people get a chance to come here and see what we are as well.”
Johnson was the first to sign David’s guitar while they waited outside the venue.
“I’m going to do something special for you,” Johnson said when Shaw presented the guitar. He signed his name with a cartoon sheriff doodle.
Stephanie got her tablet computer cover signed, which is appropriate since she reads the books and watches the show on the computer by streaming from Netflix, she said. A horseback ride and meeting the author and some actors was a highlight so far for them. They also made friends standing in line for a few hours.
“Half of the fun is meeting the people who’ve traveled up here,” David said.
While free advance tickets to the autograph sessions fill before the weekend, the actors and crew are eager to meet fans at other Longmire Days happenings, from the softball game to the street dance, Fox said. They aren’t paid for the gig beyond their expenses being covered, but the entire event is a big meet and greet, Fox said.
“They love the fact that it is a small town but everyone is really genuine and they are welcomed with open arms,” she said. “They never stop; they keep going and they love their fans. So we are very fortunate to have all of this.”
Some locals leave town during Longmire Days, but not the Boden family. Beverly Boden said it’s a fun day out with the kids, who especially enjoyed the Native American music and dancing performances.
Her husband is a big fan of the show, and the family, who lives outside Buffalo near Johnson, drive into town for the event, she said.
“It’s great to see the community come together and the tourists who come and see it,” she said.