Cowboy poetry gathering headed for Sul Ross

ALPINE – The Lone Star Cowboy Poetry Gathering arrives February 21 and 22 at Sul Ross State University. Anyone wishing to attend should their buy their tickets ahead of time, organizers say, to get a discounted rate.

Two special afternoon shows will be $10 (and each evening show $15) but daytime presentations will be free. The evening rate also applies at a new venue this year — namely, the Spicewood Restaurant near the Quarter Circle Seven Hotel west of Alpine.

Gathering members and sponsors will have the opportunity to purchase tickets early online. Ticket sales will open to the public on December 1.

Prices at the door will be $5 higher: $15 for special afternoon shows and $20 for evening performances.

Lone Star was created last year after the Texas Gathering announced in February that, after 33 years, the 2018 show would be their last. It wasn’t the first cowboy poetry gathering, but President Don Cadden said it was “recognized nationally as being the one to attend.”

“We have worked diligently to keep it truly cowboy and respectful of the values and traditions of the ranching way of life,” he said.

The Lone Star Cowboy Poetry Gathering may make some changes from the new board, but the concept — preserving the working cowboy lifestyle through poetry and music — will remain the same.

Co-Chair Kay Nowell said she has lined up enough performers to fill available slots. Names of performers will be released soon and will be announced in the Lone Star newsletter, which can be accessed at the website at Memberships are open to all, and anyone can donate any amount.

“From the Chuckwagon Breakfast to the free daily performances to the open mic, much of what fans loved about cowboy poetry in Alpine will happen again along with some additional special shows,” Co-Chair Gene Nowell said.

The popular Chuckwagon Breakfast will start off each day from 7:30 to 8:30 a.m. both Friday and Saturday at Poet’s Grove in Kokernot Park north of the campus. It’ll be in a grove of trees between Kokernot Lodge and KVLF/KALP Radio.

After a welcome address by Sul Ross President Dr. Bill Kibler, Alpine rancher and poet Joel Nelson will be the keynote speaker Friday morning and will moderate “Let’s Talk Poetry and Songwriting” on Saturday morning.

Sul Ross is east of Alpine on U.S. Highway 67/90. The school has a working ranch as part of its animal science programs and is the birthplace of the National Intercollegiate Rodeo Association.

Several hotels and motels are nearby, and others are throughout Alpine and surrounding communities.