This October cowboy poets from all across the USA will gather in Durango for the annual Durango Cowboy Poetry Gathering. This literary event takes place from October 4th through 7th and celebrates poems and songs that capture the spirit of the American West and the people who live and work there. The gathering takes place in the Strater Hotel, where many free performances of cowboy poetry and music are held. Events are also at the DSNGRR, the Durango Arts Center, Rapp Corral and in many local galleries throughout the city.
Durango Cowboy Poetry Gathering
The festival includes several events that take place all across the city. Many of the daytime performances are free and tickets for the other shows and music range from $15 to $40 depending on the performer. Poets and musicians will perform spoken word poems and songs that will make you laugh, cry and appreciate the traditions of the cowboy lifestyle. If you love poetry and the Wild West lifestyle, come to Durango this October and let yourself be charmed by the romantic, nostalgic, sweet and funny poems of some of the best cowboy poets in the country.
What Is Cowboy Poetry?
When the cowboys and ranchers of the old west would sit down around the campfire at the end of a hard day’s work, they would entertain each other with folk songs and tall tales. These stories would usually be in poetic form, as this would help them to be more easily remembered and passed along by cowboys who might not know how to read or write.
These poems would be stories about life on the ranch, descriptions of the landscape of the west, & humorous tales and memories of times gone by. Some of the most famous cowboy poets include S. Omar Barker, Curley Fletcher, Bruce Kiskaddon, Joel Nelson and Wally McRae.
The Cowboy Poet Train
One of the most exciting events in this annual gathering is the Durango Cowboy Poetry Train. On this special journey to Cascade Canyon you can enjoy entertainment from cowboy poets and musicians while you glide through the beautiful and rugged autumn countryside. The train makes a stop along the scenic banks of the Animas River where you can relax and enjoy your lunch. Be sure to book early, as seats will fill up fast!
The Motorless Cowboy Parade
One of the highlights of the Durango Cowboy Poetry Gathering is the motorless cowboy parade on Main Street. The parade doesn’t involve any vehicles – everything is horse drawn. The colourful event includes historic wagons, Mediterranean donkeys, Native American Dancers, coaches and carriages, the Color Guard, the US Forest Service Pack Mule Team and many locals dressed in period costumes.
Prizes are given for the most impressive parade entries, including Best Horse Entry and Best Mule or Donkey Entry. Anyone is welcome to enter the parade, so why not get dressed up and join in the fun?