ALPINE – The 31st annual Texas Cowboy Poetry Gathering will kickoff tomorrow on the campus of Sul Ross State University.
Friday, the Gathering kicks off with a “Howdy, Let’s Get Started” session in Marshall Auditorium. After a welcome by SRSU President Bill Kibler, Amy Auker, Straw Berry and Mike Blakely will perform. Bill Brooks is the master of ceremonies.
Following the opening session, John Davis will be the master of ceremonies and introduce new performers to the Gathering. Almeda Bradshaw, Ryan Fritz, Daron Little and Caitlyn Taussig will be featured.
Also at nine tomorrow morning, in the Museum of the Big Bend, Joel Nelson, and friends, will host a discussion on poetry. Saturday morning, they will host a discussion on songwriting at the same place.
Also at nine both days, Linda Kirkpatrick, Keith Ward and Jim Wilson will host an open session on the second floor of the University Center.
There will be two matinee performances, one Friday and one Saturday. Friday at 1 p.m. in Marshall, Trinity Seely and Kristyn Harris will be on stage. Saturday afternoon, at 1:30 p.m., Red Steagall and Dan Roberts will entertain. Each show will cost $10.
Friday night, at 7:30, Doris Daley will be the master of ceremonies and will perform along with Pipp Gillette, Jim Jones, Luke Reed and Gail Steiger.
Saturday night’s lineup includes Dale Burson, Mikki Daniel, Kevin Davis, Yvonne Hollenbeck and Randy Rieman. Don Cadden is the master of ceremonies.
Tickets to the night shows are $15 per person. Kids under 12 get in for $6.
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 and the City of Alpine is a significant underwriter. 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 7:30 a.m. The breakfast includes scrambled eggs, biscuits and gravy and will be served until 8:30 a.m. Cost is $5 per plate.
Saturday night, Craig Carter and the Spur of the Moment Band will play for a dance in the Alpine Civic Center. The dance benefits the Family Crisis Center of the Big Bend. Tickets are $20 per person and are available on the second floor of the University Center or at the door.
The Gathering committee will raffle a beautiful leather bag made by Bret Collier, of Big Bend Saddlery, for $10 per ticket. 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 perpetuation of the Gathering.
Tapes, 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.
Aramark will sell lunch tickets upstairs in the university center for the mid-day meal to be served on the SRSU mall.
Project Graduation for Alpine High School will serve a noon meal Friday and Saturday at the Lobo across Highway 90 from the campus.
Additional information is available at the Gathering website at texascowboypoetry.com