(Lewistown, MT, July 27, 2016) The dust is flyin’ and the horses are buckin’ as preparations for the 31st Montana Cowboy Poetry Gathering drill down and take shape!
“About this time of year, every year, a case of ‘the butterflies’ attacks me, but with so many willing board members and volunteers, the details always fall into place and I know we’ll produce another stellar Montana Cowboy Poetry Gathering,” sighs Karen Kuhlmann, Trail Boss for the event since 2004.
This year with the new Day Headquarters on Friday, Aug. 12, and Saturday, Aug 13 at Fergus High School, there are so many more opportunities for youth participation and new program offerings.
First of all, Fergus High School has oodles of parking, is totally handicapped accessible and has spacious areas for eight cowboy poetry and western music mini shows, western artist/vendors, and food vendors.
The front lobby will house the gathering’s Registration Desk, Consignment Gift/Book/Music store, and Henry Big Boy Lever Action Rifle raffle. Other raffle items include a pair of vintage, 1940 western leather club chairs and two large handsome framed art prints. Cowgirls and Dudes can wander into the ‘Back 40’ to enjoy the FREE music stage featuring gathering musicians after browsing through the FREE Western Art & Accessory Show all day Friday and Saturday.
Tummy pleasers will abound at Fergus High School: Try My Thai, Rita Hofer’s HOOT DOGS & Fry Bread, St. Leo’s Catholic Youth Organization’s snack bar offerings, Silver Spurs early morning coffee and donuts and on Saturday, Nacho Mama’s Lunch Box from Columbus, MT will all be on hand.
The Judith Mountain Players will present two productions in conjunction with Cowboy Poetry. ‘The Shooting of Rattlesnake Jake’ will take place at 1:00 p.m. on Main St. in front of True Value with horses, desperadoes and guns (aha….only blank bullets). The second presentation will be take place at 2:15 on the Performing Arts Stage, ‘WANTED: One Wife’ immediately following the Q. & A. session with RIDERS IN THE SKY, the Saturday night Grand Stage Show headliners.
The Thursday night Welcome Chuck Wagon Supper and Mini Show (20+ performers) at Jack’s Hanger will be followed by an Official American Flag Retirement Ceremony (by burning) produced by local Boy Scout Troop 360. Everyone is invited to this moving starlight ceremony and best of all….it is free. Boy Scout, Kendal Barta will play TAPS and Tom Wilson, 89 year-old harmonica virtuoso will play “What a Friend We Have in Jesus,” (his Mother’s favorite hymn) and “How Great Thou Art.”
Opening the Grand Stage Show on Saturday night, August 13, will be Steven Ray Hughes & Friends. A band, led by Hughes, comprised of Stan Wall, Johnny Bacon and Charlie Denison will compliment cowboy poetry by Margaret Wilhelm of White Sulphur Springs, and Jim Hamilton of Decker and Montana native, Craig Nelson, now of Lawtey, Florida. RIDERS IN THE SKY, legendary music icons will take the stage at 8:15 after a brief intermission.
For those who still have a little ‘kick in ‘em’ there’s Cowboy Church, Sunday morning, August 14th at 10:00 a.m. at Celebration Community Fellowship Church, on the west end of town off Hwy. 87. Again, everyone is welcome and encouraged to share in this tender and moving time of worship.
For those looking for overnight accommodations in and around Lewistown during the gathering, there is a special posting on the gathering’s website, MontanaCowboyPoetryGathering.com, listing available cabins, bed & breakfast options, guest houses and out-lying motels. RV and tent camping sites are also listed. Most of Lewistown’s hotels/motels are ‘sold out’ with Cowboy Poetry folks and construction crews.
Pin passes for all the day activities & Jam ‘n Dance Fri. night at Pine Meadows are available at Don’s Store. Tickets for RIDERS IN THE SKY are also available at Don’s Store. Inquiries are welcome at 406-538-4575. More information available at MontanaCowboyPoetryGathering.com.
Montana Cowboy Poetry was inducted into the prestigious Montana Cowboy Hall of Fame in 2015. This year, The Yellowstone Journal featured Lewistown and MT Cowboy Poetry on one of their suggested map/itineraries to Yellowstone National Park. Every year, participation and attendance increases at Cowboy Poetry. Everyone is invited to COME OUT THIS YEAR, up to Fergus High School and experience the fun and enjoyment of celebrated, Montana Cowboy Poetry.
Source: Montana Cowboy Poetry Gathering