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Special to The Hesperian-Beacon
ALPINE, TEXAS — The first Lone Star Cowboy Poetry Gathering will be February 21 and 22 at Sul Ross State University and Spicewood Restaurant here.
Lone Star was formed last year to create a replacement for the widely-acclaimed Texas Gathering, which announced as last year’s performance began that it would be its last after a successful run for 33 years.
The Lone Star schedule includes a choice of two night shows each evening, six free sessions including two open mic options, two Chuckwagon Breakfasts, a keynote and “Let’s Talk Poetry and Songwriting” session with Joel Nelson and a “Taste of the Gathering” session with 12 performers.
Except for one afternoon and an evening show each Friday and Saturday, all performances are at no charge.
The Friday afternoon show will feature Randy Rieman, Joel Nelson and Andy Hedges. Red Steagall and Friends will perform at the Saturday afternoon show. Advance tickets to either show are $10 and $15 during the Gathering.
Each evening boasts longer-format shows, two simultaneous shows each evening, one at Sul Ross Marshall Auditorium and the other at Spicewood Restaurant on the west site of Alpine, both from 7:30 to 9:45 p.m. Advance tickets to either show are $15 and $20 during the Gathering.
Dale Burson, Jack George, Andy Wilkinson, Andy Nelson and Trinity Seely will perform in the Friday Evening Show at Marshall Auditorium with Nelson also serving as emcee.
Jean and Gary Prescott, Jarle Kvale (jar-EL kuh-VAL-ee), Randy Huston, R.P. Smith and Rod Taylor will be at Spicewood Friday evening with Huston as emcee.
Jeff Gore, Vess Quinlan, Brigid and Johnny Reedy, Rod Nelson and The Cowboy Way will be at Marshall Saturday evening with Nelson as emcee.
Gail Steiger (STY-ger), Amy Hale, Mike Blakely, Jake Riley, Jill Jones and the Jingle Bobs will perform Saturday evening show at Spicewood and Blakely will emcee.
A group of banjo players will perform at a “Banjos in the Cowcamp” session at 3:30 Saturday afternoon in Marshall Auditorium. In that group are Dale Burson, Michael Stevens, Pipp Gillette, Allen Chapman and Andy Hedges.
The Gathering will be on the campus of Sul Ross State University in Alpine and at Spicewood Restaurant and Bar at 2612 West Highway 90 as a second evening venue.
The Lone Star Board has put out a call for as many volunteers as possible to help run the event. The Gathering has an active and dedicated board but having a large group of volunteers will mean each participant will have less work to do rather than a few having too much work.
“It’s our first year so we had a very short window to put it all together,” Co-Chair Gene Nowell said. “Experts have told us it can take two years or more to really plan and execute a new event.
“We have come a long way from when we got organized last summer but we have a lot of work ahead in a short amount of time,” he said. “Many have signed up to volunteer on the website but we need lots more. Our goal is to have 200 volunteers.”
To volunteer or for more information including tickets, sponsorship, membership, lodging and more, log onto lonestarcowboypoetry.com.