Annual Montana Cowboy Poetry Gathering

Annual Montana Cowboy Poetry Gathering

Keepin’ It cowboy!

The Montana Cowboy Poetry Committee is abuzz with preparations for next summer’s Annual Montana Cowboy Poetry Gathering. A 4-day celebration of the cowboy way of life on the upper Rocky Mountain front and the best grasslands in the world to the east of it, beginning with the first Texan cattle drives north in 1880 to the present. Montana Cowboy Poetry is the 2nd oldest cowboy poetry gathering in the country.

Montana Cowboy Poetry is headquartered at The Yogo Inn in Lewis-town. A total of 53 hourly cowboy poetry and music sessions are held Friday and Saturday in four different theaters. The Western Art & Gear Show is FREE Friday, Saturday and Sunday.

Friday night features a Jam ‘n Dance where gathering musicians and singers tout their stuff for the dancing and toe-tapping enjoyment of the crowd. Saturday night offers a huge stage show at the 880-seat Fergus Center for the Performing Arts, starring, RIDERS IN THE SKY, with 10-act, Gathering Showcase of Talent. Sunday morning brings a refreshing and inspirational non-denominational Cowboy Church gathering, Halleluyah Trail!, again at The Yogo.

Montana Cowboy Poetry Gathering is dedicated to the celebration and preservation of the history and heritage of the upper Rocky Mountain cowboy beginning in the late 1880’s to the present. Charles M. Russell, in “Trails Plowed Under” had this to say about the Big Sky cowboy: ‘The cowpuncher east of the Rockies originated in Texas and ranged north to the Big Bow. He wasn’t so much for pretty; his saddle was low horn, rimfire, or double-cinch.’

It was after the Civil War that the American cowboy came into his golden years. Weary soldiers and freed slaves were being reborn as cowboys. The Texas cowboys, often black or Hispanic, spread far and wide after the Civil War, driving huge herds of Texas longhorns north, to the lush grasslands of Montana and Canada and the railroads of Kansas. Early cowboys owned little more than the clothes on their backs, but they captured the imagination of the world as heroes of courage and champions of independence.

Montana Cowboy Poetry Gathering has received national recognition as an entertaining and meaningful celebration of the upper Rocky Mountain’s history and heritage as an open range….before the wire. Two years ago, Patricia Schultz included Lewistown’s Montana Cowboy Poetry Gathering in her travel book, “1,000 Places to See in the US and Canada Before You Die.” This year, the American Bus Association (ABA) designated Montana Cowboy Poetry as one of the TOP 100 Group Travel Events of 2010.

Those interested in participating in this summer’s gathering as a cowboy poet or western musician are asked to contact Sarah Baxter, 406-538-6408 or email Sarah at Western artist/vendors are asked to contact Karen Kuhlmann at 406-538-4575, or email at Those interested in volunteering to help with the gathering, are also asked to contact Karen Kuhlmann.

Those wanting to purchase tickets for activities at The Yogo Inn or the Saturday night show at the Fergus Center for the Performing Arts, are asked to contact the Yogo Inn at 1-800-860-9646 or (406) 535-8721. General Admission Tickets are also available online at