Durango Cowboy Poetry Gathering
“The Great American Storyteller,” Red Steagall, will be the featured performer at the Durango Cowboy Poetry Gathering this year, held Sept. 30 to Oct. 3.
Although best-known for his wonderful dance music and Western songs, Red is beloved by real working Texas cowboys for the many quiet times they have spent with him around a campfire telling stories and singing songs. As a young cowboy, Red got a college degree in animal science and agronomy from West Texas State University, but the call of Western music took him into an entertainment career that spans 32 years with travel around the globe. He is currently one of the top cowboy entertainers and most avid proponents of preserving the western lifestyle.
Red starts the Durango Cowboy Poetry Gathering on Thursday, Sept. 30, with a Premier Performance at the Community Concert Hall. The rest of the weekend is packed with activities and entertainment that the entire family can enjoy. On Friday, the DSNGRR features an special Cowboy Poet Train, Rapp Corral will provide a Cowboy Poet Trailride and both feature a barbecue lunch with great music and stories performed around a campfire.
Five local art galleries will display top Western art, sculpture and photography with free receptions Friday afternoon, Oct. 1. This year’s featured artist is Tom Browning, who won the prestigious Prix de West award this year. He will be at Toh Atin Gallery during the Gathering to sign his print “Brush Poppers.”
Saturday morning the day starts off with the popular Cowboy Parade. Known as a “motorless” parade, every entry must be horsedrawn, mounted, or on foot. No motorized vehicles are allowed. It goes down Main street of Durango and the town returns to the heritage of yesteryear as horses are tied up outside the Diamond Belle Saloon, just as it must’ve looked in 1881.
The biggest day of the Gathering is Saturday where free poetry and music performances are provided all day long in the historic Strater Hotel in downtown Durango. Evening shows are offered on Thursday, Friday and Saturday nights at the Henry Strater Theater in the Hotel, and feature such popular performers as Juni Fisher, Dave Stamey, Chris Isaacs and Belinda Gail. Popular horseman Buster McLaury will also attend to do a colt starting and recite some of his real cowboy poetry.
New this year, the Gathering will host a western swing dance with the popular band “Hot Club of Cowtown.” Three young musicians play the swinging music of Bob Wills and other twin fiddle greats. The dance will be held at the Durango VFW Hall, which offers the largest dance floor in the area and tickets can be bought at the door. This is a great show to watch and listen, even if you don’t know how to two-step!
Headquartered at the Strater Hotel in downtown Durango, the Durango Cowboy Poetry Gathering is considered a highlight among events in the fall season of Colorado. Many more events will fill the weekend of Sept. 30 to Oct. 3 with cowboy history, culture and music.
For a complete schedule, please go to http://www.DurangoCowboyPoetryGathering.org or for more information, call (970) 749-2995.