Event not much of a boon for Lawrence merchants

If you’re a Lawrence merchant expecting to see a lot of business from the Wakarusa Music & Camping Festival, Jay Richey has some bad news for you:

He’s not going anywhere.

“Once you park,” he said Thursday afternoon under a shade tent at the festival at Clinton Lake State Park, “you’re here.”

That’s not entirely surprising. City officials had said beforehand they expected campers mainly to buy groceries while they’re in Douglas County.

“We have no water,” said Mike Gowing, manager of the Hy-Vee grocery store on Clinton Parkway. “Gallon bottled water, two-and-a-half gallons, it’s gone. We’ve seen a definite impact from that – coolers and ice and water. : I guess it was just as busy yesterday.”

Sheriff and ambulance crews are also staffing the festival, but so far they’ve seen little trouble.

“We haven’t really had much to do out there,” said Jerry Karr, a division commander with Lawrence-Douglas County Fire & Medical. “We had two minor things, but they could’ve happened in the city.”