We invite folks to send in reports about gatherings.
Following are reports about
are linked from event listings on the Events page.
(Some links may be out of date.)
January-February reports here)
(see June-August reports here)
(see September-December reports here)
Kamloops (British Columbia) March
Scottsdale (Arizona) March
Cedar City (Utah) March
Wharton (Texas) April
Lewiston (Idaho) April separate page
Cody (Wyoming) April separate page
Bryson-Hesperia (California) April
Kennewick (Washington) April separate page
Lewiston (Idaho) May Christian Cowboy Balladeers
Lewiston (Idaho) May Best of the Best
Kerrville (Texas) May
Capitan (New Mexico) May
Medora (North Dakota) May
from 2004 here
See reports from 2003 here
See reports for 2002 here
Reports from 2000- 2001 are here
Back to Events page . . .
Back on home . . .
9th Annual Kamloops Cowboy Festival Kamloops, B.C. Canada
story by Mike Puhallo, photos by Peter Castonguay and Mark McMillan
The Ninth Annual Kamloops Cowboy Festival took place March 11-13, 2005. The 2005 Festival really just meant to be a warm up for our Tenth Anniversary next year , so we added a dinner theatre show, and experimented with an invitational western gear show at the Municipal Art Gallery downtown. We also got the Kamloops Museum involved with an exhibit of historic art and some artefacts from the BC Cowboys Hall Of Fame. We just thought we'd try some new things so we'd be ready for the big crowds next year.
Well the crowds decided not to wait 'til next year! The dinner theatre show was a sell out, The downtown art show "Crescent Moon to Prairie Rose" and the Museum Exhibit went over very well and overall attendance at the 2005 Kamloops Cowboy Festival was up a solid 10% over last year. We also sent cowboy entertainers out to local Seniors Centres and six Elementary Schools.
With visitors and fans from Europe, South America, The USA and right across Canada it was busy from the time we opened the doors Friday Afternoon until the final standing ovation on Sunday Afternoon! The first poetry set at noon Friday had over 350 fans in attendance, and there was at least that many at the last set on Sunday! The Festival featured three full days of cowboy poetry and western music on the mains tage and two open mike stages going through out the day time, the western art and gear show featured 30 exhibitors and was packed all weekend.
Friday night's Feature Concert drew about 500 enthusiastic fans plus another hundred dignitaries and special guests to enjoy entertainment by Hugh McLennan, Glenn Rafuse, Doug Keith, Lucas Welch, Eli Barsi, Brenn Hill
and Rob Dinwoodie with his band Dogwood Road. After the intermission Hugh McLennan presented a touching tribute to; Antoine Allen, Ernie Haughton and Danny Lytton as they were inducted into the BC cowboys Hall of Fame by BC Cowboy Heritage Society President, Mike Puhallo.
photo by Peter Castonguay
The Saturday Night Feature concert at Calvary Community Church was masterfully ceremonied by Doris Daley
and featured Tammy Gislason & Western Skies, Frank Gleeson, Rick and Casey Peden, Don Kennington, Bryn Thiessen, Jean Prescott and Shirley Field. It was about forty head shy of a sell out with about 750 people enjoying the music and wiping tears of laughter from their eyes it was a show jam-packed with very funny poets and and some of the very fine female western vocalists.
photo by Mark McMillan
The Saturday Dinner theatre show At Forster Convention Centre featured; Sharkey & Chris Shauer, Matt Johnston, Eli Barsi, Mike Puhallo, Brenn Hill, Brian Brannon, Jay Snider, Ryan Fritz and Tammy (Pearl) Gislason (backed up by Western Skies) This was a brand new event added this year... we opened with a full house and finished with a standing ovation , and it don't get much better than that!
photo by Peter Castonguay
Between the two shows our Saturday night crowd was up by 160 head over last year!
(Yes we made Tammy and the boys open one show and then dash across the road to close the other. Sharkey and Chris Shauer opened the Dinner Show then ran across the road the other way to help Shirley Field close the Feature Concert!)
photo by Peter Castonguay
Tammy (Pearl) Gislason and Western Skies on stage at
the Kamloops Cowboy Festival Dinner show Saturday night
Sunday , More than 650 people showed up for Cowboy Church at 10:30 am Conducted by Bryn Thiessen.
The final Feature concert of the Weekend began at 3;pm and featured Hugh McLennan, Lucas Welch, 4-Up (The McKelvie Family), Jay Snider, Mag Mawhinney, Mike Puhallo, and Tammy (Pearl) Gislason, After three days of non stop entertainment the Sunday Afternoon show ended to yet another standing ovation!
I'll leave the last word to Jay Snider, this is the note he sent us soon as he got home.
Howdy Mark, Mike and Kathy,
Thanks so much for inviting us out to Kamloops for such a great festival. We
appreciate the wonderful hospitality that you all showed us. The weather and
the country up there was beautiful and the folks we met at the festival were
great. You are blessed to have such a fantastic group of volunteers and
sponsors and you guys did a whale of a job organizing what I consider to be
the "Best Cowboy Show on Earth." My family and I were honored to be a part
of it. Thanks again for allowing us to be a part of such a great event.
Adios my friends
photo by Peter Castonguay
Jay SniderYou can read more about the festival at the British Columbia Cowboy Heritage Society site.
8th Annual Canyon Country Western Arts Festival Cedar City, Utah
Report by Smoke Wade
Cedar City, UT: When cowboy poets gather, the conversation eventually turns to talk of the best gatherings to attend, and Cedar City, Utah is always mentioned as a top gathering of poets.
When the opportunity arose to make my first trip to the 8th Annual Canyon Country Western Arts Festival held March 17-20, 2005, I was naturally excited. In a hurry to start the two-day drive from Lewiston, Idaho, I hit the road with darkness coming on. Forty miles from home I blew a tire, which led to a new set of tires. On the second day I blew my transmission somewhere in the middle of Nevada and eventually was towed in to Mesquite, NV. With a borrowed car, I made Cedar City in time to take part in the festivities.
The event kicked off on Thursday evening with a Western Heritage Banquet of pork, lamb and beef. David Anderson, Terri & Steve Taylor of STAMPEDE! provided entertainment along with poetry by Sam DeLeeuw.
The day sessions ran from 9:00AM-5:00PM on Friday and 10:00AM-5:00PM on Saturday. With over fifty-five cowboy poets in attendance and half as many western musicians, there was plenty of entertainment and socializing. Three venues ran concurrently in the Sharwin Smith Center on the campus of the Southern Utah University. Jo Lynne Kirkwood of Utah hosted a special youth hour on Saturday. Poets worked the capacity crowds through a series of "theme" sessions. Western art vendors were on hand displaying their wares along with working booths and displays.
The Friday night variety concert featured musical groups STAMPEDE!, the Prairie Crooners, In Cahoots, Blue Sage, and RW Hampton. Featured poets included Terrill Staples, 12 year old Stetson Mangum and Todd Nail.
Featured performers, Stampede! (UT) L to R Steve Taylor, Terri Taylor and David Anderson
The Saturday night headliner concert opened with reciter Jerry Brooks and poet Andy Nelson. Nelson hosts the Clear Out West Radio show in Wyoming. The Bar J Wranglers of Jackson Hole, Wyoming, provided headliner music. Both nights the entertainers jammed the night away at the Garden House Restaurant.
Many of the performers gathered Sunday morning for a cowboy church at the Cedar City Livestock Auction. After the church was over, once again the cowboy poets said their good-byes and vowed to return next year.
Special recognition must be given to Directors of Poetry, Curly and Sheryl Syndergaard for not only putting together an outstanding gathering of cowboy poets, but also for their many years of hard work organizing the Cedar City events. The gathering is a must attendance for all serious cowboy poets.
After arriving home I counted coup and reminisced about my first trip to Cedar City. A set of new tires - $400.00, towing - $300.00, new transmission - $2300.00, expenses - $400.00, missed week of work due to broke down rig - $1000.00, and cowboy poetry sessions in Cedar City, Utah, absolutely priceless!
Gathering Bryson-Hesperia, California
story and photo by Janice Gilbertson
Tucked away in the foothills of California's Santa Lucia Mountain range is a little country community called Bryson-Hesperia. It is miles from any main highway and even more miles than that from a town bigger than just a post
office. You must travel a winding country road crowded with oak and, in this case, wildflowers, and look for a little road that climbs a hill to the old Hesperia Community Hall. What a jewel in the rough! Built in the late eighteen hundreds, it was originally a school for surrounding settlers and homesteaders. Now the Hall is used for meetings, dance lessons, barbeques, potluck dinners, auctions, and various other community events.
Dave Stamey and Janice Gilbertson
One of those events falls in the month of April and is hosted by community residents Jay and Anne Brown. Jay and Ann are wonderfully nice country people who are huge fans of Cowboy Poetry and Music. This year Janice Gilbertson was asked to emcee and share some poetry of her own and to introduce singer/songwriter, guitar playin', spectacular entertainer Dave Stamey! What a treat! Of course many folks there were already fans of Dave, and those who had not heard him before were in for a special surprise. The historic little Hesperia hall was full to the rafers of Dave's wonderful
songs and fun humor. Being the beginning weekend of National Cowboy Poetry Week gave Janice the opportunity to share some information about that with the audience. Janice has good friends in that part of the country, so it
was an especially fun night for her too. The potluck dinner was the best...all that good cookin' and that peach pie was crowd pleasing, too.
Fifth Annual Shanghai Days Cowboy Gathering Wharton, Texas
story and photo by Linda Kirkpatrick
Shanghai Days Cowboy Gathering
April 1-3, 2005
In honor of the young cowboy, Abel Head "Shanghai" Pierce, Wharton, Texas turns the town square into a cowboy festival to commemorate the visions of this young man. With shrewdness and hard work Pierce became an expert cattleman. He bought close to one half million acres of land in Wharton and Matagorda Counties. The Pierce ranch today is approximately 32,000 acres and is still run by Shanghai's descendents.
Poets at this year's event were Dennis Gaines, Rod Nichols, Lloyd Shelby, Ted E. Dennison, and Linda Kirkpatrick.
Friday night kicked off with a fabulous performance by Tim Bays and Mike Rayburn. Both of these men wowed the audience with their comedic songs and super guitar picking! Tim and Mike's show was followed by a dance featuring the Buckaroo Band.
Saturday events began at 10:00am with sessions at four separate locations and booths galore. The sessions continued until dark-thirty and were followed by another dance. One highlight was the Second Annual Liar's Contest. Bigger and better that the First Annual! And it was won by www.cowboypoetry.com's own Linda Kirkpatrick and Dennis Gaines. We are not sure what this says about these two but it obviously is not good!
Linda Kirkpatrick and Dennis Gaines
The Castleman Chuck Wagon served a great Sunday morning breakfast followed by a very moving Cowboy Church Service. If you have never attended a Cowboy Church Service it is one thing you need to add to your things to do this next year. The service was followed by the gospel singing group, Sterling. The vendors then opened up and performance sessions began at 12:30.
The weather was great and hats off to Doc Blakley and crew for a wonderful event.
Smokey Bear Days Capitan, New Mexico
Report and photos by Donna Hatton
Capitan, New Mexico a reminder of our past, when life was slower and simpler a place that feels like home. Nestled between the hills of the Sacramento and Capitan Mountains it suddenly appears across fields of old lava from an ancient volcanic eruption and after miles of sage brush and cactus. Capitan is the gateway of a historic treasure and the home of the Smokey Bear Museum which hosts Smokey Bear Days, a birthday celebration for Americas forest fire fighting hero May 6 who just turned 61 in May, 2005. May 6th and 7th brought people from out lying areas to celebrate that renowned bear and to sample the fares of the local artisans and to enjoy some of the best of the west's cowboy poetry and music.
Joe Baker, the award winning DJ from Ruidoso, produced a western lineup of AWA and WMA members, talented entertainers guaranteed to delight the palate of western aficionados anywhere. Beginning with all-day entertainment from
bands and poets from around the USA, to a street dance Friday and Saturday night audiences were treated to nonstop activities.
The visitors had to step aside for horseback riders who wandered in and out among the audience, marvel at mounted peace officers or as they gazed in wonder at the performers, who in their eyes fit the image of the old west by wearing Stetsons, colorful western shirts, high heeled cowboy boots, chaps and guns.
Residents of Capitan were friendly and open sharing their town with those who came to visit Smokey and the area of Lincoln County. It was windy, as it seems to have been all a cross the West this spring, but the out-of-towners didn't seem to mind. Evelyn Roper, Johnny Bencomo, The Lost Canyon Rangers, Palo Duro, Eddy Harrison, Dennis Jay, Tom and Donna Hatton, Jim and Jeanie Martin and Scotty Fitch kept the entertainment moving briskly and from the appreciative sounds from the audience the day was a complete success.
Scotty Fitch, Carlsbad, New Mexico and friends.
The Lost Canyon Rangers, Scotty Van Salter, Lindalee Green and
Skeeter Mann from Hollywood, California
The evenings were warm and the street dancing was a popular draw and after all who could pass up real Cowboy Music played by Ted Scanlon and the Desperadoes or great fiddling from the legendary Johnny Gimble and the surprise addition of two more fiddle players, David Young and Jaelyn Lucas for a real fiddle showdown Saturday evening. It was a special weekend, with time to share with old and new friends over a cup of coffee or a meal and to good natured teasing with the MC, John Payne from Tucson, Arizona the President of The Home Ranch Hands of the Western Music Association and his lovely "better half," Judy Anderson.
John Payne, MC and President of WMA's Home Ranch Hands kept us all in line.
The area is a live with the history of the west and if you haven't been to Lincoln County it is about time to plan a trip. October 6-7-8, 2005 is the Ruidoso Cowboy Symposium, but if you miss those dates mark your calendar for next May in Capitan and Smokey Bear Days. You won't be disappointed.
Billy The Kid, Pat Garrett and The Regulators still haunt the valley of Lincoln, New Mexico. Lincoln is truly a town where time stands still and perhaps as you walk down its street you will feel the brush of a ghostly hand and a chill crawl up your spine as you climb the stairs in the courthouse where Billy made a daring escape after killing two deputies. But, for those who seek a more modern experience then you better head for Ruidoso to visit the quaint shops, the fine restaurants, Ruidoso Downs, The Hubbard Museum of The American West and last, but not least, be sure to say hello to Joe Baker and Smokey Bear.
Joe Baker, producer of Backforty Bunkhouse Productions, taking a moment with Tom
and Donna Hatton, entertainers from Woodland Park, Colorado
Dakota Cowboy Poetry Gathering Medora, North Dakota
poem by Jim Dalglish, commentary by Jeri Dobrowskiphotos by Jen Dobrowski and Jeri Dobrowski
The Creation of Yodeling Bob5, Jim Dalglish
Bill Lowman hosts a Gathering each year 'round Memorial Day.
Poets and Singers come to Medora. Some come a considerable way.
There's locals from Western Dakota, Montana, Wyoming and more.
Canucks from the Ozarks, like Eli & John, and Glen Ohrlin from West Arkansoer.
Idaho's Ernie Sites, on his way to Ft. Worth, sure had some unusual things goin'.
Like Cowboy Songs with a Memphis Blues Beat, and a "Rap Version Strawberry Roan."
Packer fans from Wisconsin. Lots o' people named Johnson from the Land of 10,000 Lakes.
Colorado, Nebraska had each sent a few. 'Twas a big crowd, make no mistake.
Most of the Poets had written their stuff, but a few read from Classical Prose.
Lots o' pickin' an' singin' of old Cowboy Songs, and a few "Karaokers" arose.
53 people got up and performed. They filled all of two afternoons.
The "Headliners" worked in the evening, doing poems and wonderful tunes.
Some 300 people had gathered on Sunday, AM, to hear and to sing Gospel Tunes.
All of the singers had time to perform, 'cause it lasted from 9 until noon.
Eli Barsi and Sites started out the event. Each did a couple of hymns.
Headliners performed, they filled up two hours. Then they said "Would YOU like to sing Jim?
I hadn't played or performed Gospel Music for at least 20 years, I revealed.
"Well, we need someone to fill the last quarter hour" the MC named Rhonda appealed.
Maybe I could remember a song that would fit in some sorta "church category."
"I could do some "Ghost Riders" cause the Devil's Own Herd's an integral part of the story"
She asked if I needed some "back up musicians", but I didn't know many folks there.
If she got me a couple like Barsi and Sites, I said that would sure be a nice pair.
She said "They've already put their stuff away, but there's one who would do a nice job,"
As long as you're doing a song like "Ghost Riders," you could sure use old "Yodeling Bob"
She said Bob would really be perfect, 'cause Ghost Riders was his favorite song.
I said I'd like to meet him. She said "He's outside, but he'll be right along."
A few minutes went by and no backup appeared, but she said "Don't worry, he'll show"
Then she introduced me, and I stepped on the stage, and she said "Don't worry - just GO."
I began to perform, and I sang the first verse of old Ghost Riders in the Sky.
Then I happened to see a strange sight on Stage Left, just out of the corner o' my eye.
This DOG just trots out, and it stops next to me as I'm finishing up the 1st verse.
I start on the "Whoopie Eye Aye" of the chorus. The DOG SINGS as though we'd rehearsed
He goes "WOOF & ARF" and a long WOO WOO HOO ! He even performed in MY KEY.
I gave him a look, started on the next verse, but he just waited there patiently.
Then I started again on the chorus. He took over and sang "WOO WOO HOO"
Next, we got a standing ovation, both for me and for old YOU KNOW WHO.
They asked us to do it all over again, so we gave it another encore.
"Lets hear it for YODELING BOB (& for Jim)" They laughed until they got sore.
Sites and D. W. Groethe inquired how I got BOB to yodel that way.
I told 'em that I'd never met "Bob" before, but was sure he made everyone's day.
Two cowboys were standing in the parking lot, alongside their old pickup trucks.
The discussion that those two were havin' 'bout ME, well, it was worth 10 million bucks.
The slim guy, he says to to the heavier fella "Say, how about that LAST ACT?"
The other guy stops an' he thinks fer a while, like he's tryin' to remember each fact.
Then he smiles, and he mumbles what I'm sure will be one of my all time favorite quotes...
"I guess that the BIG guy could sing real LOUD, but that DOG could sure hit the high notes"
I'm sure if I go to Medora again, that I'll be assured of a job.
But I'm NOT sure they'll take me without my BACKUP, our old friend YODELING BOB !
This poem may not be reprinted or reposted without the author's written permission.
Jim comments: This is pretty much a true story about my appearance at the 3-hour Gospel Session at the 2005 Dakota Cowboy Poetry and Music Gathering over Memorial Day, 2005. I think "YODELING BOB" belonged to Emcee Rhonda Stearns from Newcastle, Wyoming.
Rhonda Stearns comments: Bob is thrilled over her '"very own" poem and is ever so grateful to Jim for all the nice things he said about her...Bob giggled about being called a "he" but said she could sure understand because Jim was, after all, singing a very difficult song an' doin' a darn good job of it when she stepped up alongside to help out with the chorus... and with a name like 'Bob' it's no wonder people get confused! What with the show going on and all, they were never formally introduced.
Photo by Jennifer Dobrowski; obtain permission for reproduction rights
Jim Dalglish and Bob
Additional photos and commentary by Jeri Dobrowski:
Photo by Jeri Dobrowski; obtain permission for reproduction rights
Saddle pals Glenn Ohrlin and Jen Dobrowski greet one another at the registration table Saturday morning. Glenn attended the first Dakota Cowboy Poetry Gathering, as did Jen. She was five years old at the time and hasn't missed a gathering since. While you'll find Glenn on stage performing, you'll find Jen working behind the scenes scheduling performers, taking pictures and selling merchandise.
Photo by Jeri Dobrowski; obtain permission for reproduction rightsCowboy Magazine editor and publisher Darrell Arnold and Kristi White dance to music provided by DW Groethe, Bob Dennis, and others on the deck at the Western Edge Books, Art Work and Music Shop following a book signing for Good Medicine. Shop owners, Doug and Mary Ellison, are great supporters of the cowboy culture and stock a fabulous inventory of poetry, history and music, along with original art, prints, photography and wood carvings. (Western Edge Books, PO Box 466, Medora, ND 58645; (701) 623-4345; firstname.lastname@example.org)
Photo by Jeri Dobrowski; obtain permission for reproduction rights
Two loyal volunteers who make the Medora gathering possible are Sheila Marie and Lyle Glass. Sheila raises registered overo paint horses just outside of Medora (Painted Badlands Ranch). Lyle works for the Theodore Roosevelt Medora Foundation. He is known as Cowboy Lyle to thousands of kids who see him riding horseback around town or giving rides in the surrey with the fringe on top. Lyle also appears in the Medora Musical, which plays nightly June through August. Among other things, he portrays Teddy Roosevelt making his famous charge up San Juan Hill.
The official press release before the event:
Two "Don't Miss" Concerts at 19th Annual Cowboy Gathering
MEDORA - This region's long running, cowboy
poetry-music-and-art-fest is Memorial Day weekend, May 28 and 29, 2005, at the
Medora Community Center. Bill Lowman, founder and organizer of the Dakota Cowboy
Poetry Gathering, announced the 2005 featured day session performers: Dan
Murphy, Baker, Mont.; Slim McNaught, New Underwood, S.D.;
Dale Mailand, Harlem,
Mont., and Carole Rosencrans, Hettinger, N.D., Janice Hanson, White Earth, N.D.,
and Jim Hegland, Tioga, N.D., who perform as a trio. Approximately 40 other
performers, most of them veterans of the gathering, will be on hand to recite
cowboy poetry and sing classic and contemporary range ballads.
Doors open at 1 p.m. on Sat., May 28, for the daytime poetry and music sessions and Western art show. The art show is sponsored by the Badlands Art Association. Both are free and open to the public. Guests are encouraged to come when they can as sessions start throughout the day. Artisans and craftsmen expected include Scott Nelson, Solen, N.D., who will be doing pen and ink sketches, and featured performer, McNaught, showcasing a variety of tooled, leatherwork items.
Headlining Saturday's 7:30 p.m. concert are international Country vocal artist, Eli Barsi, and cowboy singer, Glenn Ohrlin. Raised on a Canadian wheat farm, Barsi divides her time between the provinces and Branson, Mo. She grew up listening to Wilf Carter, Kitty Wells and the Carter Family. A song writer, Barsi plays multiple musical instrumentals. Described by some as a national treasure, Ohrlin, Mountain View, Ark., is making a return engagement to Medora. A cattleman, rodeo veteran and National Folk Heritage Award winner, he is known for his vast repertoire of old-time songs and a dry wit. South Dakota poets Elizabeth Ebert of Lemmon, and Bill Wood, Newell, round out the lineup.
Tickets, available at the door, are $10 for adults, $8 for high school students, and $4 for students 12-years-old and under. Children who can be held on an adult's lap are admitted free of charge.
Festivities continue Sun., May 29, with Country-Gospel beginning at 9 a.m. Groups and individuals lend their talents to this worship service with a Western flair. Cowboy poet and evangelist, Rhonda Sedgwick Stearns, leads the ecumenical program dedicated to the late Charlie Hunt. Hunt hosted the popular, standing-room only sessions for years. He passed away in October 2004. As always, the coffee pot will be on. Following a break for lunch, afternoon sessions resume at 1 p.m.
Western singer, yodeler, poet, storyteller and trick roper, Ernie Sites, headlines Sunday's 7:30 p.m. concert. Raised in southern Idaho, Sites lists his childhood heroes as the Lone Ranger, Roy Rogers and Gene Autry. An energetic and skilled performer, he appears at folk festivals and schools nationwide. Montana cowboy singer and Medora favorite, Duane Dickinson, Scobey, Mont., returns after a long absence. Poets Blanche Everidge, Mansfield, Mo., and Jim Lowman, Fairfield, N.D., complete the roster.
A pre-grand opening walkthrough of the North Dakota Cowboy Hall of Fame is on tap Saturday. The Hall is to open later this summer.
Nearly all of Medora's motels, businesses and restaurants are open and ready for the gathering. Lodging is available through the Theodore Roosevelt Medora Foundation at 1-800-633-6721, and Custer's Condo at 1-800-783-6366. Rooms are also available in Beach, Belfield and Dickinson.
For more information on the Dakota Cowboy Poetry Gathering, contact Bill Lowman at (701) 872-4746. For art show info, contact Mary Heuther of the Badlands Art Association at (701) 225-9746.
In 2000, the Library of Congress recognized the Dakota Cowboy Poetry Gathering as one of 1,300 Local Legacies preserving traditions and local history. One of North Dakota's signature events, the gathering and selected performers are included in the Library's permanent American Folklife Center collection.
2nd Annual Christian Cowboy Balladeers Annual Benefit and Awards Show Lewiston, Idaho
Report by Smoke Wade
Lewiston, ID: The Christian Cowboy Balladeers presented their 2nd annual benefit and awards show on May 14, 2005, at the community center in Lewiston, ID.
The master of ceremonies for the evening was poet and songwriter, Howard Norskog of Idaho. Performances were presented by western musicians Jim Aasen, Eric Larson, Marlene Pederson, Bodie Dominguez, all of Washington, and Jim Bullard and Shiloh Sharrard of Idaho. The cowboy poets were Orvil Sears, Wendy Flerchinger, Dolly Reed of Washington, along with Smoke Wade and Howard Norskog of Idaho.
The event was the annual fund-raiser for the Christian Cowboy Balladeers as well as an awards ceremony. The criteria for receiving an award included: stage presence, working with the Balladeers, professionalism, ability and acceptance by peers. Members of the Balladeers voted for the award recipients.
Award winners included: Dolly Reed, Rising Star of the Year; Charlie Camden, Poet of the Year; Jim Bullard, Musician of the Year; Marlene Pederson, Award of Excellence; Eric Larson, Achievement Award; and Smoke Wade, Hall of Fame Award.
Certificates of appreciation were presented to the officer's of the organization as well as to Anita Bullard, Carl Strohm, Larry Groseclose and poet, Larry Palmer for their contributions and support during the last year. A special thank you must be given to Howard Norskog, High Country Balladeer, for all he has done in promoting cowboy churches, cowboy poetry, and organization of the Christian Cowboy Balladeers.
Two other awards were presented as people's choice winners of the American Legion Post #13 Best of the Best Cowboy Extravaganza held the previous week: Orvil Sears, People's Choice Poet of the Year; and Jim Aasen, People's Choice Musician of the Year.
The weekend event concluded with a cowboy church on Sunday morning at Pioneer Park in Lewiston. The program was hosted by Howard Norskog, and performers included musicians Bodie Dominguez and Marlene Pederson along with poets Wendy Flerchinger, Dolly Reed and Smoke Wade.
1st Annual American Legion Best of the Best Cowboy Extravaganza Lewiston, Idaho
Report by Smoke Wade
Lewiston, ID: The American Legion Post #13 held the 1st Annual American Legion Best of the Best Cowboy Extravaganza in Lewiston, Idaho, on May 7th, 2005. The event was a fund-raiser to help pay for a new roof on the Legion's meeting hall.
The master of ceremonies for the evening was cowboy poet and storyteller, Smoke Wade of Idaho. The poets included Orvil Sears and Wendy Flerchinger, both of Washington, and Charlie Camden of Idaho. Scheduled poet, Howard Norskog of Idaho, could not attend due to illness. Talented western musicians included "Uncle" Frank Kurtz, Bruce Bovey, Jim Bullard, and 12 year old singing sensation, Shiloh Sharrard, all of Idaho, as well as, "Awesome" Jim Aasen of Washington.
Ballots were distributed to the audience to choose their favorite musician and poet. The Best of the Best award winners were, Orvil Sears, People's Choice Poet, and Jim Aasen, People's Choice Musician. The awards were presented the following week at the annual Christian Cowboy Balladeers benefit and awards show.
The event was a success and the American Legion announced plans to host the event again in 2006.
Festival of the West Scottsdale, Arizona
Photos from Janice Chapman
Dick Morton, Greg Scott, Jane Morton, Janice Chapman, Doc Jordan
Ron Brinegar and Terri and Ron Brinegar
Rocking R Wranglers
Cowboy Campfire Concerts Kerrville, Teas
Report and photos by Scott Bumgardner
Backyard Campfire Gatherings
Dennis Gaines Hosts Jean Prescott
Western tunes were sung with grace and elegance on a beautiful day in Kerrville, Texas on Thursday, May 19, 2005. Jean Prescott. entertained the folks at the fourth evening of campfire gatherings, Dennis Gaines has held. Dennis is helping spread this cowboy art to new audiences right in his own backyard. He has a nice stage, which is backed by a very attractive barn and flanked by saddles. The attendees were very appreciative of Jean’s award winning music. The applause was hearty and between sets several people even hollered out their appreciation of her beautiful voice.
A local barbeque vendor, Buzzie’s was available for those who came hungry. You seldom see as much quality-smoked meat placed in a sandwich. So fed, parked, and entertained, the crowd relaxed and enjoyed a perfect evening as the Texas sunset provided brilliant colors and the shadowy deer crossed a pasture about two hundred yards away.
Dennis hosts his gatherings on the first and third Thursdays, bringing the best of western music and his own brand of humor to the stage. For upcoming show information call Dennis at: 830-896-5598
We invite you to send in reports about gatherings and other events.
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