The National Cowboy Poetry Gathering is turning 30 this year and its home — the state of Nevada is celebrating 150 years.
Nevada became the 36th state on Oct. 31, 1864. The sesquicentennial celebration, also known as Nevada 150, started on Oct. 31, 2013 and will culminate on Oct. 31 of this year. Nevada 150 is an opportunity for Nevadans to commemorate and take pride in the state’s history and to appreciate its cultural assets.
The 30th National Cowboy Poetry Gathering from Jan. 27 to Feb. 1 in Elko, Nev., is an official Nevada 150 event. The gathering will celebrate Nevada’s sesquicentennial through several special performances and discussions focused on the artistic traditions of the state’s rural and ranching communities.
Nevada’s Lieutenant Governor Brian K. Krolicki will open the first show of the gathering “Home Means Nevada” on Monday, Jan. 27, at 7 p.m. in the G Three Bar Theater at the Western Folklife Center. The show will feature Nevada 150’s Honorary Poet, Waddie Mitchell, poet Walt “Bimbo” Cheney, writer Carolyn Dufurrena and songster Richard Elloyan.
“I am thrilled to be able to kick off the first show of this year’s National Cowboy Poetry Gathering,” said Krolicki, “particularly as this magnificent event marks its 30th anniversary and Nevada celebrates her 150th battle-born birthday. In honor of this most special occasion, the iconic Waddie Mitchell will debut a powerful poem he has written in tribute to this state and her people in his newest role — the state’s official ‘Sesquicentennial Poet.’ His performance will certainly be one of the great highlights of this year-long celebration.”
On Friday, Jan. 31, Mike Beck, Carolyn Dufurrena, Richard Elloyan, Dick Gibford, Deanna Dickinson McCall and Waddie Mitchell will express their lifelong love affair with Nevada in “Nevada in My Heart” at 6:30 p.m. in the G Three Bar Theater. Storytelling sessions with local ranching families will round out the Nevada 150 programs at the gathering.
The National Cowboy Poetry Gathering is the nation’s greatest celebration of the American West, its people, culture and traditions. The 30th anniversary of the gathering will feature poetry, music, fine western gear, films, workshops, dances and discussions with a clear focus on encouraging the next generation and working together to ensure the sustainability of the occupational and artistic traditions of the rural West.
Tickets to the 30th National Cowboy Poetry Gathering can be purchased at westernfolklife.org, by calling 775-738-7508, toll-free 888-880-5885 or by stopping in to the Western Folklife Center’s ticket office, 501 Railroad St. in Elko.
The 30th National Cowboy Poetry Gathering is supported by NV Energy, Barrick Gold of North America, Anna and Susannah Ball, Denise and Tim Cashman, T.J. and Debbie Day, Interculture Foundation/Larry and Maggie Biehl, Newmont Mining Corporation, Blach Distributing Company, Red Lion Hotel and Casino, KNPB Channel 5 Public Broadcasting, Nevada Humanities, Nevada Arts Council, National Endowment for the Arts, Elko Convention and Visitors Authority, the city of Elko and many more foundations, businesses and individuals.