A tip of the hat to cowboy traditions

25th anniversary event celebrates ‘Old West’

Cowboy poet, humorist and philosopher Baxter Black will perform on Jan. 16 at the Colorado Cowboy Gathering in Golden. Courtesy photo
The Riders in the Sky will perform on Jan. 19 at the Colorado Cowboy Gathering in Golden. Courtesy photo

What started 25 years ago with the first Colorado Cowboy Gathering at the Arvada Center has grown into a four-day celebration, slated this year for Jan. 16-19.

It will be all things cowboy at two venues in Golden: the American Mountaineering Center will be the site for most programs and the Green Center-Bunker Auditorium at Colorado School of Mines will host a pair of headlining acts.

The American Mountaineering Center has a main stage and a smaller campfire stage. Some programming will be especially aimed at children, particularly the themed matinees.

Cowboy poetry grew out of traditions developed by workers on cattle drives and ranches, who would gather around a campfire following a long day in the saddle and entertain with songs, stories and poems.

The first evening, Jan. 16, is focused on Baxter Black, the famous cowboy poet, philosopher, author, storyteller, and rodeo and television commentator. 

Born in New Mexico in 1945, Black began a career as a large animal veterinarian, but soon became a full-time entertainer, who makes frequent public appearances. Black has written a weekly column, “On the Edge of Common Sense” for 32 years. The column appears in 130, mostly rural, papers and some readers may also recall hearing him on National Public Radio in the past.

Black will be at the Table Mountain Inn in Golden at 5:30 p.m. Jan. 16 for a VIP “Meet and Greet” ($50) and will perform that night at 7:30 p.m. at the School of Mines Green Center-Bunker Auditorium.

Friday starts out with a Main Stage Variety Show at the Mountaineering Center from 10 a.m. to 12 p.m., featuring more than 10 poets and singers in a variety of acts, as well as “2 Barbs on a Wire” on the Campfire Stage, followed by day-long, more intimate programming on that stage as well. On the Main Stage from 2 to 4:30 p.m. is the “Son of a Gun Show,” hosted by Jon Chandler with Ernie Martinez and others. The “Main Stage Hootnanny,” “headlined by Dave Stamey, starts at 7:30 p.m. Chuckwagon Cookin’ is available from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. and 5 to 7 p.m.

On Saturday, the daytime lineup at the American Mountaineering Center begins at 10 a.m. on both stages, with Chuckwagon Cookin’ available and the day culminates with the Riders in the Sky at 7:30 p.m. at School of Mines.

On Sunday, Cowboy Church is scheduled at 10 a.m. and a “Jackpot Finale” Matinee at 1 p.m.

Tickets range from a Weekend Super ticket to admission for individual shows. A visit to www.ColoradoCowboyGathering.com will give a glimpse at the full schedule, respective event costs and information on Chuck Wagon meals.

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