National Cowboy Poetry Gathering // © 2012 Western Folklife Center
The 28th National Cowboy Poetry Gathering -- a celebration of the nation's American West, its people, culture and traditions -- will take place from Jan. 30 to Feb. 4, in Elko, Nevada, a high-desert community where ranching has been a way of life for more than a century. The poetry, music, workshops, films, discussions, exhibits and dances that compose the gathering honor Elko and other rural communities across the West where people work on horseback.
In Elko, visitors will find an authentic western town with working cowboys. Elko has a thriving Basque culture and several famous Basque restaurants, all-night casinos, some of the largest gold mines in the world and incredible views in every direction.
"During the National Cowboy Poetry Gathering, Elko is an experience like no other," said Don Newman, executive director of the Elko Convention and Visitors Authority. "This town comes alive with people. You can listen to an incredible musician one minute and find yourself sitting next to him or her at the bar swapping stories the next. In addition to the entertainment, people come to the gathering to make new friends, drink Basque Picon Punch, eat the biggest steak and some of the best lamb they have ever had and more. Visitors almost always come back for more."