Tuesday, October 30, 2012

Cowboy Poetry

Premier Cowboy Poetry Gathering showcases top poets and musicians

Heber Valley celebrates its 18th annual Cowboy Poetry Gathering and Buckaroo Fair Oct. 31 – Nov. 4 by bringing together the top poets and musicians at the premiere Cowboy Poetry Gathering in the nation. Performances will celebrate the cowboy way of life, and half a dozen performers will pay tribute to Johnny Cash.

The event will once again be hosted by Waddie Mitchell, now in his 10th year as host, and will feature nine main shows and eight more in an around-the-campfire setting. The event will showcase performers such as Joey + Rory, Suzy Bogguss, Bar J Wranglers and Ramblin Jack Elliott and will mix the vocals of Michael Martin Murphey with the BYU Philharmonic Symphony.

What began 18 years ago as a one-night gathering with local cowboy poets sharing poems in the Midway Town Hall is now a full five days of entertainment at nine different venues featuring entertainers from all over the United States. Now averaging more than 12,000 attendees each year, Heber City’s Cowboy Poetry Gathering has become one of the largest gatherings of its kind in the country.

“We don’t want people to forget the cowboy heritage that established not only Utah but the West,” said Tom Whitaker, event creator and trail boss. “The best way to experience being a cowboy without being ‘a cowboy’ is to be entertained by real cowboys. These performers live it, write it, rhyme it, sing it and perform all over the country.”

The 18th annual gathering will feature nonstop cowboy poetry and entertainment; more than 40 western booths with arts, crafts and cowboy gear; Mountain Man Camp; Cowboy Church; fiddle, guitar and harmonica performances; the Cowboy Express Train; the Impact of the Horse mustang horse competition; a Cowboy Buckaroo Ball and more. Souvenirs include the Heber City’s 18th Annual Cowboy Poetry Gathering and Buckaroo Fair poster painted by Jason Rich, a membership pin and a CD with poems and songs from all the artists.

Tickets for the Buckaroo Fair and continuous music and poetry are $10 at the door. A cowboy BBQ lunch and dinner is $15 for adults and $7 for children. Concert tickets range from $14 to $37 and are available online at  www.hebervalleycowboypoetry.com or Day’s Market in Heber City, 435-654-2352. For more information on event times and locations, visit  www.hebervalleycowboypoetry.com.

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