First town saddles up for festival |

First town saddles up for festival

by Caryn Haller

More than 3,000 folks will be riding into town Thursday for the third annual Genoa Cowboy Poetry & Music Festival.

Drawing from the success of the previous two years, organizers are expecting another great year.

“Visitors can expect an enthusiastic reception from our town volunteers to a fun-filled, historically rich event that includes some of the best Western singers in the U.S.,” said Sheryl Gonzales, Genoa town manager. “For Genoa to be the backdrop of cowboy poetry and music, it’s a perfect marriage.”

The festival brings together award-winning poets such as Waddie Mitchell and Paul Zarzyski and musical entertainers Cindy White, Cowboy Celtic, Mike Beck, Cross Town Cowboys and many others.

“It’s some of the most famous and well- known entertainers in the U.S.,” Gonzales said. “They love Genoa, and they love Nevada.”

In honor of the festival, Sharkey’s Casino is serving up an Elk dinner with all the trimmings at 6 p.m. today.

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Festivities officially kick off Thursday with a VIP champagne reception at 3 p.m. in Genoa, and an opening concert with Dave Stamey, Juni Fisher and Jim King that evening at the Carson Valley Inn.

Friday starts the first full day of events of with musicians Jon and Betsy Elliot, Cross Town Cowboys in the Genoa Town Hall.

Demonstrations and workshops include cowboy fast draw, guns and gunfighters, Dutch oven cooking and pony express riders. Snowshoe Thompson , Sarah Winnemucca and Kit Carson will also be making an appearance Friday.

Beginning at 1 p.m. The Mormon Station Concert tent will keep the music and poetry going with headliners Waddie Mitchell, Paul Zarzyski, Cowboy Celtic and Mary Kaye taking to the stage at 7 p.m.

Birding Under Nevada Skies starts Saturday morning off at the River Fork Ranch at 8 a.m.

Native American dancing, Washoe Tribe history and culture presentations are mid-morning, with Basque history, Nevada songs and Western painting demonstrations at noon.

Ken Gardner, Cindy White and Tony Argento perform in the Mormon Station Concert tent at 3 p.m., followed by lectures on Nevada’s first sheriff by Bob Ellison and ghost towning by Stan Paher.

The evening ends with a Town Hall dance 10 p.m. to midnight with music by Cross Town Cowboys.

After a night of dancing, cowpokes can fetch some pancakes in Mason’s Hall at 7 a.m. Sunday, and then attend cowboy church in the Town Hall at 9 a.m.

The final day wraps up with tours of the Dangberg Home Ranch, a cowboy gear demonstration and a final concert featuring Mary Kaye, Juni Fisher and Paul Zarzyski in the Mormon Station Concert Tent.

Tickets are required for all headliner concerts, and the day pass allows visitors access to smaller venue concerts, performances and workshops as well as the Native American Cultural & Historical Center and the Genoa Courthouse Museum.

For a full schedule of events and to purchase tickets and day passes, visit,

IF YOU GOWhat: Genoa Cowboy Poetry & Music festival

When: Thursday-Sunday

Where: Genoa


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