33rd Texas Cowboy Poetry Gathering kicks off Friday at Sul Ross

ALPINE – The Texas Cowboy Poetry Gathering will get underway on Friday, February 22, on the campus of Sul Ross State University in Alpine. The two-day event brings together poets, musicians and storytellers from all over the country and Canada. The opening session, at 10am Friday in Marshall Auditorium, will feature Ross Knox, Gail Steiger and Joel Nelson. All three are veterans of the Texas event. Bill Brooks is the master of ceremonies.

At 11am, John Davis will be the mc and will introduce the new performers to the Gathering. Justin Cole, Floyd Beard, Belinda Gail and the High Country Cowboys will be featured.

Friday afternoon at 1pm, Jeff Gore and Zack Casey will present a tribute to Marty Robbins in Marshall Auditorium. Saturday afternoon at 1:30pm, Doris Daley and Eli Barsi will present “Once Upon the West.” Both shows are $10 per person.

Friday night, Daley will be the emcee for Jean and Gary Prescott, Kay Nowell, Jim Wilson, Chris Isaacs and Jill Jones and Three Hands High. The Saturday night show will be hosted by Don Cadden and will feature Mike Blakely, Yvonne Hollenbeck, Rod Taylor, R.P. Smith and Kristyn Harris and Hailey San-doz. Rolf Flake will handle the auctioneer chores as the Gathering auctions a painting by this year’s program cover artist Shelly Rogers.

Both night shows cost $15 for adults and $6 for kids and begin at 7:30pm in Marshall Auditorium.

Saturday morning from 10 to 11:30am, Randy Rieman will present an audio/visual presentation on “The Life of Charlie Russell” in Marshall Auditorium. The cost will be $5 per person.

Participants in the Texas Cowboy Poetry Gathering are working cowboys and cowgirls as well as ranchers and ranch hands. The Gathering is known for its commitment to the words and music of the working cowboy.

West Texas National Bank is the title sponsor of the Gathering. Donations by local businesses and sponsorships of performers are important sources of income for the event.

Most daytime sessions to the event are free. These sessions are held in classrooms on the campus. Each session will feature several performers for 50 minutes. Up to 12 concurrent sessions are held at various locations on the campus.

Tickets for the shows and breakfast and raffle tickets, as well as programs, go on sale at noon Thursday on the second floor of the Morgan Center.

Campfire breakfasts will be held at Poet’s Grove both Friday and Saturday mornings at 7:30am. The breakfast includes scrambled eggs, biscuits and gravy and will be served until 8:30am Cost is $5 per plate. The breakfast is sponsored by TransPecos Banks.

The Gathering committee will raffle a custom engraved Moore Maker knife and sheath by Gary Dunshee at Big Bend Saddlery. John Davis at Limpia Hat Company in Fort Davis will custom make a hat for a lucky winner and Wayne Franklin has created a silver bracelet that will also be raffled. All proceeds from the raffles go to the Gathering. Raffle tickets are $10 each.

CDs and books by the participants of the Gathering will be available for sale on the second floor of the Morgan University Center. Also on sale will be Gathering logo merchandise. Sales begin Thursday at noon and will continue until the close of the event Saturday evening.

Additional information is available at the Gathering website at texascowboypoetry.com