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This is Fred Ball for Zions Bank, speaking on business.
For the past ten years, one of the most exciting events in the state has been the Cowboy Poetry Gathering and Buckaroo Fair in Heber. With cowboys, hearty meals, train rides on the Heber Creeper and professional performers, the festival has become a crowd favorite.
Festival founder Tom Whitaker learned the cowboy lifestyle at an early age by helping his father care for horses during the summers in his youth. After pursuing a successful business career, Tom returned to his cowboy roots. He currently owns a ranch in Tabiona, Utah and cares for teams of horses on his 100-acre property in Midway.
Ten years ago, Tom and some friends discovered they had all written cowboy poems. They decided to pool their talents, bring in a few local performers and put on a cowboy poetry gathering. After reserving the Midway town hall, they hung posters around town to advertise. They didn't know if they should expect 15 or 50, but when the night rolled around, a whopping 250 people showed up! The festival was a hit and has continued to grow each year. More than 7,000 people are expected to attend this year's festival.
As usual, many of the nation's most popular cowboy poets and performers have been recruited to participate. Their works range from humorous song and dance to thought provoking poetry and insight. Tom tells me the festival's host, Waddie Mitchell, does a poem with the symphony that is sure to leave the audience spellbound.
The festival is truly a sight to behold. Visitors will feel like they've been transported back to the Old West as they mix and mingle with cowboys dressed in spurs and chaps. The catered East Texas barbecue is made from scratch and guaranteed to make mouths water. Visitors can also buy authentic saddles, hats, arts, crafts and western wear from the 50 vendors who set up shop at the Buckaroo Fair. It really is an amazing spectacle!
This year's rousing Cowboy Poetry Gathering starts tomorrow at Wasatch High School and runs through Sunday.
For Zions Bank, I'm Fred Ball. I'm speaking on business.