Photo by Max Efrein.
Originally Published: August 12, 2016 6:03 a.m.
PRESCOTT - Put on your boots and saunter down to the Yavapai College campus if you’re interested in experiencing a unique presentation of western music and poetry.
The 29th annual Arizona Cowboy Poets Gathering kicked off Thursday evening, Aug. 11, and continues Friday and Saturday, Aug. 12-13.
The gathering was originally formed by a small group of cowboy poets who wanted to share the cowboy and rancher lifestyle with the public through artistic expression.
“They wanted to help educate the public,” said Jim Buchanan, longtime member and current secretary of the Arizona Cowboy Poets Gathering Committee. “There’s a lot of myths out there. A lot of people say John Wayne and Roy Rodgers were cowboys; not true. They’re good people, though.”
The gathering’s committee has since grown to about 60 members and their big annual event has become a highly anticipated public offering in the Prescott area.
On average, the event attracts about 3,000 attendees each year, Buchanan said. This year there are 61 cowboy poets and musicians from throughout the country.
“These people don’t get paid very much,” Buchanan said. “While we try to subsidize their travel and expenses, they come because they love what they do and love the opportunity to present it to the public.”
Across the three-day event, there will be evening shows each day with featured performers that will require tickets priced at $20, $25, $30 and $35 based on seating.
Friday and Saturday are also full of free daytime sessions in seven different venues across the Yavapai College campus.
The 45-minute Friday sessions begin at noon and go until 5 p.m., and the Saturday sessions will be held from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. On Saturday at 8 a.m., guests are invited to a “Coffee with Cowboys” in the small amphitheater behind the Performing Arts Center.
For tickets and more information, visit www.azcowboypoets.org.