Thousands expected during Labor Day weekend at Cheney State Park

CHENEY, Kansas – It’s the last getaway weekend for summer. As millions of Americans plan to travel, many will stop at camping spots, including Cheney State Park. Officials are expecting thousands this weekend.

In Kansas, we are seeing the lowest Labor Day gas prices in more than a decade, that along with the nice weather expected this weekend is bringing in big crowds. Most are people who reserved spots in advance, but officials expect to see more unreserved spots filled up this weekend.

“I just needed a break from work,” said Cheney Park first time camper Michael Shields.

A break from a busy life of a fireman for Shields and trying new camp grounds with his wife at Cheney State Park.

“We’ve been going out to different state lakes for the last four years since we’ve been married and this lake we’ve never been to,” Shields said.

A first time for Shields and his wife, but coming to Cheney Park has been a tradition for others.

“Out here, we always say, we’re at the lake. Nothing matters. There’s no time. You just come out here and sit and leave everything behind,” said Wichitan Shawndel Anderson.

Cheney State Park original supervisor Ryan Stucky believe thousands will leave everything behind and enjoy the camp site.

“We run about a 30,000 visitation on the labor day weekend,” Stucky said. “Then again, if the weather is not conducive to camping or what, that might drop. If it’s really good, it might go above that.”

While some are taking the laid back approach this weekend.

“We all have campers, with AC, toilets, showers, kitchen, microwave, TV’s. So we’re not exactly camping like you would think,” said Anderson.

Others are roughing it.

“We actually have to go physically get water and bring it in for our use,” Shields said.

Although Shields didn’t make a reservation for his first time here and he’s only been here a short amount of time, he says, this won’t be the last.

“I feel that, so far everything I’m seeing, we’ll probably come back again,”

Stucky says they try to get ahead of the game before Labor Day weekend because their extra help, which includes college and high school students, go back to school. With the large amount of rain we got this summer, grounds-keeping was their biggest task. Stucky says, they tried to stay ahead of it.


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