We just held our 30th annual National Cowboy Poetry Gathering in Elko, NV. From the moment you arrive, you are transported into a place so magical it leaves you speechless – or maybe that was the Basque cocktail known as the Pecan Punch? Seriously though, I’ve been in attendance now for 20 years and I simply love this event. Thank you to the Western Folklife Center for another amazing experience!

Please enjoy some of the memories photographed, lost items found, and links to several performances (who knew there were Hawaiian Cowboys?)

Watch the Haleamau Family from Hawaii here: YouTube-Haleamau (skip to 45.50)


The always fabulous Paul Zarzyski in his Saturday afternoon impromptu show at the G3 Bar.

Read John L. Smith’s article about Paul in the Las Vegas Review Journal! http://www.reviewjournal.com/columns-blogs/john-l-smith/cowboy-poets-round-laughs


For the 30th we had the pleasure of having the remarkable and most fascinating Dr. Temple Grandin as our keynote speaker.

I ran into her in the gift shop “chatted her up” What a wonderful life moment! This is what the Gathering is all about!

3stageHand created backdrops and local props help to create the beautiful stage at the convention center auditorium!

4cowboyartOne of my personal favorites on my visit to Elko for the gathering is the art display in the G3 Bar. This art is all hand created by Elko’s local school kids!  These two cow girls were awesome!


A glimpse at this year’s amazing exhibit “Expressing the Rural West Into the Future” a celebration of the artistry of the west.

 5localdiningWhen in Elko be sure to visit the “Coffee Mug” Elko’s most well-known diner! Check out this awesome reception counter made of a re-purposed 1949 Chevy pickup partial cab – upside down! The food is awesome and incredibly LARGE. Very cowboy!

The Coffee Mug

2405 Mountain City Hwy Elko, NV 89801

(775) 738-5999



Pam Brown and Ron at our annual dinner at The Star enjoying Basque Food!

friendsMy friend and fellow WFC Board member, Tiffany Tiberti


My Cowboy!



Here are some awesome performances!


“Waddie Mitchell, official poet of the Nevada Sesquicentennial, recites the poem he wrote for the 150th birthday of his home state. Waddie recited “Dame Nevada” for the first time. On the opening night of the Gathering, Waddie Mitchell debuted his poem “Dame Nevada” written in honor of the state’s sesquicentennial. It’s a lovely tribute for a very special place.” – Western Folk Life Center

God Bless Waddie and the lovely Lisa too!

Watch Waddie’s performance here! YouTube – Waddie Mitchell


creole cowboys

This is an awesome band from Louisiana called The Creole Cowboys!

“Born in Lafayette, Louisiana, Jeffery Broussard was raised in Frilot Cove on a farm where his father was a sharecropper. He grew up fishing the bayous, riding horses across fields, and working hard. A founding member of the Creole Riders club, he owns three horses and taught his children to ride. One of the most influential accordionists and vocalists in modern Zydeco music, Jeffery is a dynamic performer and a musical innovator. Beginning his career at age eight playing drums in his father’s traditional Creole Zydeco band, Delton Broussard & The Lawtell Playboys, he moved on to develop the nouveau Zydeco sound with Zydeco Force, then returned to a more traditional sound with his own band, Jeffery Broussard & The Creole Cowboys.” – Western Folklife Center

Watch Waddie’s performance here! YouTube-Creole Cowboys 

Watch all of the performances and extras on the Western Folklife Center YouTube Channel: Youtube-Western Folklife Center

Check out the Western Folklife Center Facebook page for even more exclusive and fun extras from the gathering! Facebook-Western Folklife Center

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