The National Cowboy Poetry GatheringShare this page with others
Join us for the 32nd National Cowboy Poetry Gathering,
January 25-30, 2016!

The National Cowboy Poetry Gathering is an annual celebration of the ranching and rural West. Through poetry, music and stories, ranch people express the beauty and challenges of a life deeply connected to the earth and its bounty. Every year, thousands travel to rural Elko, Nevada, in the heart of winter, to learn and share. It's been called the most honest and open-hearted festival in America, but it is also a darned good time! At the National Cowboy Poetry Gathering, you can discover cowboy cultures from around the world, learn a traditional skill, dance the two-step, plan for the West's future with ranchers and conservationists, watch home-made films of rural life, meet new friends over a Buckaroo Brew, enjoy Basque food, listen to tall tales, dispel myths, build bridges and be inspired. Join us for an experience you will not soon forget! Use any of the links in our banner to read more about every aspect of the Gathering. Get up to date news and more on Facebook and Twitter.

The irrepressible Rick Crowder—aka Sourdough Slim—put a smile on everyone's faces and set all toes to tappin' in several shows at the 31st National Cowboy Poetry Gathering, including How the West Was Swung with Robert Amstrong and Joey McKenzie, Katie Glassman and Gavin Kelso of The Western Flyers on Wednesday night, January 28, 2015.

The Vaqueros were in Elko! For the 31st Gathering, we experienced a remote corner of Mexico and celebrated the vaquero culture of Baja California Sur, a living link between the Spanish and the American buckaroo. For nearly 300 years, ranching families have carved out an existence in the rugged, aird environment of the sierras of the Baja California peninsula. These rancheros are the direct descendants of Spanish missionary soldiers, and continue to maintain their horseback traditions, using riding equipment patterned after their Spanish ancestors. Be sure to stop by the Wiegand Gallery from January - September 2015 and view the incredible exhibition designed by guest curator Fermín Regadas-Dahl and creative director Carlos César Díaz Castro, showcasing paintings, images, gear and more of past-century and traditional  music, the muy rico cuisine of their ranching heritage, local art and craftwork, traditional lore and humor. Join us for a glimpse of this community's history and daily life, and look at the roots of the Californio cowboy, still alive in the sierras of Northwest Mexico!  Donate to the 2015 Baja Ranchero Cultural Exchange.

Are you planning your first Gathering? Tickets to the 32nd National Cowboy Poetry Gathering go on sale to Western Folklife Center members the day after Labor Day and to non-members one month later. To become a Western Folklife Center member or renew your membership, click here, or call Dayleen Eiselein at 888-880-5885 ext. 222. Read more about what to expect at a Gathering, tickets, and planning your trip.

Watch National Cowboy Poetry Gathering Videos on YouTube


See photos from prior Gatherings in our Photo Gallery.

Watch Gathering Moments on Film, short and casual "guerrilla" videos from prior Gatherings.

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