Cowboy Poetry rides into the sunset today |

Cowboy Poetry rides into the sunset today

by Caryn Haller

The weather was perfect Friday for the first full day of events at the Genoa Cowboy Poetry & Music Festival.

A steady stream of people were visiting shops and art galleries waiting for the afternoon’s concerts to begin.

Susan Berish and her daughter, Teresa, traveled from Winnemucca to attend the festival and see performer Mary Kaye on the Mormon Station main stage.

“I love the whole history of Genoa, the town is so beautiful,” Berish said. “All the shops have stuff in them you can’t buy anywhere else.”

Diana Wontorski and her husband, Wrangler Rich, were offering horse rides and demonstrations to festival goers.

“I like the whole idea and western atmosphere here,” Diana said. “If we can get young people enticed into horseback riding and loving the dream, it would be great.”

Wrangler Rich gave demonstrations and explained about cowboy gear and tack at last year’s event. He looked forward to doing it again this year.

“We want to bring kids exposure, and let everybody know the cowboy way,” he said. “To be able to teach the cowboy way is a plus for us.”

For Gardnerville resident and artist Tamyra Crossley the festival gave her an opportunity to check out other artists’ work.

“I’m impressed. The Pink House has a lot of great work in there. It makes you feel like you’re in the Old West,” Crossley said.

Lura Welch had never visited Genoa before the festival, and said she will definitely be back next year.

“It’s nice. There’s a lot of interesting stuff, and the carriage ride was cool,” Welch said.

There were many first-time festival attendees walking the streets Friday, and trying to decide what to look at next.

Genoa resident Shari Greenwood said she planned to stroll down one side of the street, up the other and attend concerts in between.

“Genoa is a lovely setting for something like this,” she said.

Many of the visitors were wearing day pass bracelets, but ticket chairman Terry Faff said sales had been busy all morning and he expected them to pick up in the afternoon.

Dressed in traditional 1880s Western attire, Sharron Gegenheimer, Ray Ahrenholz and Mike Creager greeted passerbys and posed for pictures. Ahrenholz and Creager were dressed in pre-Civil War uniforms from when Nevada was still a territory.

“People love it, they absolutely love it,” Gegenheimer said. “From kids to grandparents, everybody’s interested. It embodies the Western spirit.”

Western musician Richard Elloyan shook hands and greeted fans before his noon concert.

He will be singing songs throughout the weekend from his new CD, “This Side of the Dirt.”

For Kathy Coleson and Kas Monson, hearing Elloyan play was just one highlight of the festival.

“Last year was good, and I’m thinking this year will be even better,” Monson said.

For a full schedule of events or to purchase tickets and day passes visit, or call 782-8696 or 782-8207.