Corley Ranch: First time for Backcountry a success

Fans get excited for Midland at Backcountry Festival in Gardnerville on June 3, 2023.

Fans get excited for Midland at Backcountry Festival in Gardnerville on June 3, 2023.
Photo by Kyler Klix.

Corley Raper, from the Corley Ranch, helped organize Backcountry Festival and she said overall it felt like a successful event.

“Going into your first year, you don’t know what to expect,” she said. “We worked so hard on planning, and we went in with a positive mindset.”

It was the first time for the festival, and it opened the Corley Ranch and the Carson Valley to many new people and Raper said they were happy to host it.

“We’re so lucky to be able to open our home to people and let them enjoy it,” she said. “At the end of the day, it was great people having a good time at a ranch.”

For three days they had almost 30 bands playing from about noon to about 10:30 p.m. on three stages. Raper said her favorite aspect of the festival was having a lineup that showcased local music (like Jakota Wass), up-and-comers (like Hailey Whitters) and it also had the headliners.

“People rave about headliners, but then they also find out about a new band they have never heard or seen and now they are new fans,” she said.

She said she saw many families participating, making it fun for the whole family. It included a Kids Zone, cornhole tournaments, roping activities, a pool hall and lots of dancing.

“One of our big goals was that anyone could come, and anyone could enjoy this event,” she said. “And a lot of people were having a great time no matter their age.”

The event also celebrated barbecue, bringing in a few vendors and food trucks.

“There was tons of great food,” Raper said. “People could fill their hearts and stomachs. Everyone loved the food part of it.”

The festival also gave the Corley Ranch a chance show off western culture and the history of the ranch, a real working ranch. Raper said ranch work continued as usual while the festival was in progress. It was even a busy weekend for them because they had to plant their pumpkins to get ready for the fall.

She was also proud to show off their historic barn that was built in the 1800s as a real working barn that people can still enjoy and admire.

Raper said she was happy to connect that with more people, especially those visiting who have never been here, and it was a big deal for the ranch.

“We want people to come here, meet new people, see old friends and enjoy themselves and become a part of the western culture,” she said.

Raper also said the festival in a way helps keep alive the legacy of her grandparents, Jon and Paula Corley.

“This event was a dream come true for them and us as well,” she said.

Raper said they are looking forward to hosting the event again next year.


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