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GENOA, Nev. — Nationally known Western poets and entertainers will converge on Nevada’s oldest settlement at the end of April for the first-ever Genoa Cowboy Poetry and Music Festival.
Visitors from around the West and beyond will see and hear authentic cowboy music, poetry and art April 29-May 2. In addition, 80 workshops will explore traditional Western handcrafts, folk stories and history at a dozen venues around the town.
Ranch grub and Dutch oven-cooked specialties, pancake breakfasts and spaghetti (served with spaghetti-Western movies) will keep everyone from going hungry. Visitors will even have the chance to chat with Mark Twain, Sarah Winnemucca and Wyatt Earp via Chautauqua-style presenters.
At the Native American Cultural and Historic Center, Great Basin and Maidu (California) tribes will offer tribal crafts, art, dances and cultural presentations, and an Indian taco fundraising sale will be held. Tours of Nevada’s oldest ranch, Trimmer Ranch No. 1, and a pleasure ride are scheduled.
Day passes will allow festival-goers to enter most workshops and demonstrations, the Native American Cultural and Historic Center, and several cowboy poetry and music events on Friday and Saturday and Cowboy Church on Sunday. A one-day pass costs $20 per adult and $10 per child (12 and under); two-day pass, $35 and $15.
Additional tickets are required for a Western-style dance, special tours and performances by celebrity cowboy poets and musicians — among them Nevada’s own Waddie Mitchell, Paul Zarzyski, Dave Stamey, Don Edwards, Larry Maurice, Richard Elloyan and Sourdough Slim, all veterans of the National Cowboy Poetry Gathering in Elko, as well as Virginia City’s Lacey J. Dalton and Carson Valley’s popular David John and the Comstock Cowboys. Poetry and music performance tickets range from $10 to $35. Master of Ceremonies for the Saturday night concert is KOLO-TV 8 personality John Tyson.
Throughout the festival juried artworks by noted Western artists will be displayed in four galleries in Genoa: Pink House, Rustic Romance Barn, Tieg Building and the former Itildo Realty office, sponsored by Lone Tree Gallery in Minden.
The four-day festival kicks off Thursday with the Cowboy Dinner of roast beef, Basque beans, salad and dessert from 5 to 7 p.m. ($20) presented by Trimmer Outpost and JT Basque Bar and Dining Room (dinner will be held in the Town Fire Bay) followed by Cowboy Poetry and Music with Dave Stamey, Larry Maurice and Richard Elloyan at 7 p.m. at Mormon Station Stockade ($30). These two events do not require a day pass.
After a full day of activities on Friday, the Basque Club will cook and serve steak and lamb with salads and paella at the Cowboy Dinner, 5-7 p.m., in the Old Fire Bay ($20). On Saturday following the various workshops and demonstrations, guests can fill up on beef stew, salad, bread and dessert in the Old Fire Bay, 5-7 p.m., hosted by the Genoa Volunteer Fire Department ($20).
Events close with the 8 a.m. Flapjack Breakfast hosted by the Masons ($5) and Cowboy Church on Sunday at the Genoa Church. For a complete list of activities, workshops, presentations and performances, visit genoacowboyfestival.com.
The Town of Genoa and the Carson Valley Arts Council are co-sponsoring the festival. For tickets, call or visit the Town Offices, 2289 Main St., Genoa 89411, 775-782-8696, or call the Arts Council, 775-782-8207, or visit genoacowboyfestival.com.
Beginning at noon Thursday, April 29, festival-goers can stop by the Town Offices to pick up their tickets and packets, which include programs and maps showing where each of the festival events take place. The ticket booth will be open throughout the festival.
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