The 12th Annual Grand Encampment Cowboy Gathering will be held July 18-20 in Encampment, Wyo., with activities ranging from a stick horse rodeo and dutch oven cookoff to cowboy music and poetry.
The annual Membership Drive for the Cowboy Gathering is now underway. This year the Cowboy Outfit urges people to pay for their memberships early in order to be certain to have a seat for the Saturday night show that will feature Cimarron, N.M., singer/songwriter R.W. Hampton, Trinity Seely, from Muddy Gap, Wyo., and South Dakota cowboy poet Robert Dennis, along with Chuck Larsen of Saratoga, Wyo., the show’s emcee.
“The Encampment School is undergoing maintenance this summer, which means we have moved the Saturday Show to the Grand Encampment Opera House,” said Steve Moulton, President of the Cowboy Outfit. “It is a good location, but does not have as much seating, so we urge people to pay their memberships and get their tickets early as we expect this show to sell out.”
Cowboy Gathering memberships, which include tickets to the night show, are available with prices beginning at $25. Membership letters have been mailed to past sponsors. Anyone who wants to buy a membership or tickets who did not receive a letter, can email firstname.lastname@example.org.
This year events begin with an Open Mic Music and Poetry in Grand View Park on Friday, July 18, followed by the campfire program. Both of these events involve a variety of poets and musicians and anyone wanting to participate is invited to attend and take part. Host for the evening will be Daron Little who has been touring recently with his new 307 album, that is when he is not wrangling cattle on the Silver Spur Ranch.
A dutch oven cookoff is slated for Saturday, July 19. Registration begins at 7 a.m., with judging at 11 a.m. Contestants in adult and youth divisions will compete in three categories: main dish, bread, and dessert. All ages are welcome to participate. There is no entry fee and cash prizes will be awarded to the winning entries in each of the categories. Cooking will be held at Grand View Park in Encampment.
The Cowboy Outfit will hold the annual Stick Horse Rodeo for kids of all ages beginning Saturday, July 19, at 11 a.m., at Grand View Park in Encampment. Cowboy music and poetry will be presented on the stage in the park beginning at noon with performances by the featured entertainers plus a number of other poets and musicians.
Western Writers of America will assist the Cowboy Gathering by selling books and music CDs at the Grand View Park on July 19 and the Encampment-Riverside Lions Club will serve lunch at the park. A free afternoon music and poetry show gets underway at noon at the Park. It will include the headline entertainers plus many others including Jim Jones, Chuck Larsen, Doc Mehl, Daron Little, Jason Swedlund, and Steve Moulton. The evening concert will be held at the Grand Encampment Opera House with another campfire music and poetry round-robin taking place at Grand View Park following the concert.
Following evening events another informal music and poetry jam session will be held by the campfire in Grand View Park.
On Sunday, July 20, events include a cowboy breakfast to be served at Grand View Park followed by cowboy church to be conducted by Ken and Becky Kreusel beginning at 10 a.m. R. W. Hampton also will take part in cowboy church and after church will present a program on Internet marketing.
The Grand Encampment Cowboy Gathering is organized by ranchers, musicians, poets and writers living in the area as a way to help preserve and promote ranching and cowboy culture and lifestyle. It is sponsored by the Grand Encampment Cowboy Gathering Outfit with assistance from the Town of Encampment, Town of Riverside, and many businesses and individuals in the Platte Valley. Funding is also received from the Wyoming Arts Council, WESTAF, National Endowment for the Arts, Carbon County Visitor’s Council, and Carbon County School District No. 2 Recreation Board. ❖