2018 Spirit of the West report by Tommy Tucker


photo © 2018, Molly Morrow

Wylie Returns to the Spirit of the West

tommytucker   by Tommy Tucker

Presidents Day weekend brought the cowboys and cowgirls out of hibernation a bit early,  as it was time for 14th annual Spirit of the West Cowboy Gathering in Ellensburg, Washington.  Featuring three days of music, poetry and camaraderie, headliners Wylie & The Wild West, who had been absent the past three years. returned and showed us why he is one of the best in the business.

Also on hand were Trinity Seely, Chris Isaacs, Paul Wilson, Thatch Elmer, Lauralee Northcott and The Panhandle Cowboys.  All brought their “A” game and put on fantastic performances.  The headliner shows were emceed by Karen Quest, who  did a superb job.  Plus, you could do some shopping or attend one of many workshops while you killed a bit of time between shows.

Things kicked off on Friday with two days of competition with Ranch Roping at the Bloom Pavilion.  The kids enjoyed two mornings of Kids’ Music Time with Karen Quest and then the Kids Corral for afternoon fun.

Music and poetry filled the air during the two days at eight downtown venues and an open mic stage at the event center. These free events featured such fine musicians as Andy Bales, Barbara Nelson, David Anderson and Jenny Lynn, Joe Sartin (Coyote Joe), Rockin’ HW, and TR Stewart.  An all-star line up of poets also performed, such as Tom Swearingen, Duane Nelson, A.K. “Kathy” Moss and Stan Kvistad.  The open mic winners this year were “Carter Junction” with Clint and Sarah Carter from Spokane, Washington.

In attendance through out the weekend was Miss Spirit of the West, Naomi Roghair who greeted all who attended.

Twenty-two plus vendors were on hand with everything from clothes, leather goods, art work, jewelry and homemade jerky.  As usual, something for everyone!

The show closed on Sunday with Cowboy Church with Pastor Al Parsons, followed by the final performance in the afternoon.  A great weekend and great fun, and the good news is they already have the plans set for the 15th Annual Spirit of the West on Presidents Day weekend. February 15-17, 2019.  Headliners are Dave Stamey, Kristyn Harris, The High Country Cowboys and lots more.  So make plans to attend. It’s gonna be a dandy. Contact the Ellensburg Chamber of Commerce at EllensburgCowboyGathering.com.  Hope to see ya there!