Have you ever been to a cowboy poetry gathering? Do you even know what cowboy poetry is? What happens when cowboys, poets, musicians... and Buckaroo Bling get together? Read on to find out.
Last month, we at Buckaroo Bling packed our bags and headed to Lewistown, Montana to attend the 34th Montana Cowboy Poetry Gathering. No, we didn't all of a sudden start writing poetry. The incentive to travel was participation in Western Marketplace and Vendor Show, where we could showcase our products to an audience highly receptive to our style. Still, in the process of participating in the Marketplace, we fell in love with cowboy poetry and everything that surrounds this type of events, and we're already planning our participation for next year.
So, what's cowboy poetry, you may ask. It's a type of folk poetry (usually rhymed) associated with the lifestyle of cattle ranching in the West. Even though some of these poets have printed books, most of cowboy poetry is performance poetry, which means that poets travel to different events where they read their poetry in person.
Reading poetry? That's boring, you may think. Nope! In case of cowboy poetry, you're wrong. These poems can be funny and entertaining, or deeply personal, philosophical, and even real tear jerkers. Besides, poetry is often interspersed with original music, which is typically acoustic, with guitars, fiddle, and an occasional mandolin or banjo. All in all, it's a super-duper, fun, big country hoedown, and if you're a fan of western lifestyle, you'll love cowboy poetry gatherings.
So, what did Buckaroo Bling do there? On the opening night, we went to the chuck wagon supper and mini show that took place at a local golf club, with the space opening out to the green and the surrounding hills. If we wanted a better Montana country experience, we couldn't have gotten it. Even the sunset cooperated that night - one of the best ones I've seen in a while. The next day, we set up our booth for the show that opened at noon. The indoor space where the show took place (gym of the local high school) was comfortable, and at the same time fun, as we could hear all the musicians who performed in one of the music rooms on the other side of the gym. You bet there was a lot of toe tapping and finger snapping during the times we had to man the booth. That night, after the show closed for the day, we went to the Cowboy Jam and Dance, where many people danced their night away.
The next day, we tried to get to as many poetry sessions as we could catch, and in the evening, after the Marketplace was officially closed, we attended The Bellamy Brothers concert. I knew of them only by their music, but apparently, they have a western reality TV show on Cowboy Channel too, so go check them out. I still have to figure out if we can receive Cowboy Channel in our area.
Last but not least, on Sunday morning after the Gathering's poetry and music sessions officially closed, we attended cowboy church at one of the local churches. Now, I've been to many a church, including different Christian denominations, a non-denominational, catholic, orthodox, messianic, and even a synagogue, but I've never seen anything quite like the cowboy church. So, if you've got one in your area, make sure to pay them a visit.
And how did Buckaroo Bling do business-wise at the event? We loved meeting new customers, we made some new friends, and although we didn't completely cover all of our expenses (it was a long, 5-6 hour drive there after all), there's no doubt in our minds that we'll try to make it to Lewistown for the 35th Montana Cowboy Poetry Gathering next year. Just you wait, Lewistown! We're coming back with more fun jewelry and Boot Bling... 'cause your boots need earrings, too.
Do you have a cowboy poetry gathering in your area? If so, make sure to go visit it. If not, you may want to plan a trip to Elko, Nevada in January for the biggest and oldest Gathering in the country. Want to see what Buckaroo Bling offered at this year's Montana Cowboy Poetry Gathering? Click the button below.