Grand Encampment Cowboy Gathering July 16-18 |

Grand Encampment Cowboy Gathering July 16-18

Candy Moulton
Encampment, Wyo.

The eighth annual Grand Encampment Cowboy Gathering will be held July 16-18 in Encampment, Wyo., with activities ranging from a stick horse rodeo and dutch oven cookoff to cowboy music and poetry.

An evening concert on Saturday, July 17, features Juni Fisher, Al “Doc” Mehl, Washtub Jerry and cowboy poets John Nelson and Chuck Larsen. The concert begins at 7 p.m. at the Encampment School. Tickets are $15 and are available in advance or at the door. Cowboy Gathering memberships are also available with prices beginning at $25.

The gathering opens on Friday, July 16, with a new event this year, an open mic session from 6-8 p.m., hosted by Laurie and Cora Rose Wood, followed by campfire – which involves more music, poetry and storytelling, hosted by Ken Kreusel. Both events will be held at Grand View Park.

A dutch oven cookoff is slated for Saturday, July 17. Registration is from 8-10 a.m., with judging at 1 p.m. Contestants 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 Grand Encampment Museum will hold a book signing at 10 a.m. July 17, and be open with regular tours of historic buildings. Authors planning to participate are C.J. Box, Edgar Award winner, who will be signing his series of Joe Pickett novels, including the most recent release, “Nowhere to Run,” Johnny D. Boggs, past president of Western Writers of America, Starley Talbott, Dick Perue and Spur Award winning novelist John Nesbitt. I will be there with copies of my new book, “Forts, Fights, and Frontier Sites: Wyoming Historic Places.”

The Cowboy Outfit will hold the annual Stick Horse Rodeo for kids of all ages beginning at 11 a.m. Saturday, July 17, at Grand View Park in Encampment. Cowboy music and poetry will be presented on the stage in Grand View Park beginning at noon with performances by the featured entertainers plus Steve Moulton, the 2010 Wrangler winner at the National Cowboy and Western Heritage Museum as Outstanding New Artist. Master of ceremonies for the afternoon show is Jerry Paxton.

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The Encampment-Riverside Lions Club will serve lunch at the park beginning at 11:30 a.m.

Following evening events informal music and poetry jam sessions will be held by the campfire in Grand View Park. Anyone interested in sharing music or a poem is encouraged to attend.

On Sunday, July 18, events include a cowboy breakfast to be served from 8-10 a.m., on the museum grounds. Cowboy church will be conducted by Ken and Becky Kreusel in Grand View Park beginning at 10 a.m. Juni Fisher will present a song writing workshop at 1 p.m.

Other living history activities will be taking place at the museum during the weekend, with special programs and all buildings open on Sunday, July 19, from 10 a.m.-3 p.m. During the day volunteers will engage in pioneer activities and crafts. This year’s museum theme is “The Aerial Tramway” in recognition of the tramway that transported copper ore from the Ferris-Haggarty copper mine to the smelter in Encampment, a distance of 16 miles.

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 co-sponsored by the Grand Encampment Museum 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 Art Council, Carbon County Visitor’s Council, and Carbon County School District No. 2 Recreation Board.

For more information on any of the events, please contact the Saratoga-Platte Valley Chamber of Commerce at (307) 326-8855 or visit the Cowboy Gathering Web site at