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A tradition: Dakota Cowboy Poetry Gathering

It’s nearly time to head over to Medora for the 32nd annual Dakota Cowboy Poetry Gathering. It’s traditionally held during the Memorial Day weekend of May 26-27.

“We call on new poets every year and it snowballs -- they bring in their family and friends,” said Gathering founder Bill Lowman. “It’s a sharing of a tradition, it’s not a judged event. When  you come, the time is divided up, you’re treated like everybody else.”

The timing of the event is perfect for ranch families -- they still aren’t branding, fencing or cutting grass.

“We like a cloudy, rainy weekend  to draw better crowds,” Lowman added.

The event kicks off with the free “all-comers-welcome” session at 1 p.m. Saturday, May 26, with poets and singers from numerous states displaying their talents.

The evening show, for which there is an admission, is emceed by Bill Lowman, and features nationally known performers such as Jarle Kvale of Dunseth, Kim Harrington of Grand Rapids, Minn., Sam Noble from Durango, Colo., and cowboy yodeler Vic Anderson from Colorado.

The Gathering continues at 9 a.m. Sunday, May 27, with the cowboy gospel singing and continues that afternoon with another “open stage” free session.

The Sunday evening show features National Cowgirl Hall of Fame inductee Ann Secrest Hanson of Bowman, cowboy singer Pat Meade of Milo, Iowa; poet Margaret Wilhelm from White Sulphur Springs, Mont., and cowboy singer and songwriter Greg Hager from Valley City. Jamestown’s Terry Schwartz will encee.

As a long-standing tradition, the photo and art exhibit coordinated by Lyle Glass will be held in conjunction with the Gathering. For more information contact Lyle at 701-623-4599.

Restaurants and other businesses are open and there’s plenty of lodging available in Medora. For more information, call Bill Lowman at 701-872-4746.

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