Five Things To Know About The Red Steagall Cowboy Gathering
The annual music and culture event launches its 22nd edition this fall in Fort Worth
IT’S A TRADITION: The Red Steagall Cowboy Gathering and Western Swing Festival is one of the nation’s top annual celebrations of Western culture. Organizers are getting ready for the event’s 22nd edition, scheduled for Oct. 26-28 in the Fort Worth Stockyards. Steagall – a Cowboys & Indians contributor, former Texas poet laureate, and well known musician and entertainer – has devoted his career to celebrating and bringing light to Western traditions.
IT INVOLVES A JOURNEY: The three-day festival starting Oct. 26 in Fort Worth isn’t the only component to this event. It actually begins five days earlier, when a wagon train leaves Jacksboro, Texas, and makes several overnight stops, including a gathering with live music and poetry in Weatherford. When the wagon train finally arrives in Fort Worth, the big party gets going.
RANCH HANDS DO BATTLE: Ever heard of a ranch rodeo? It’s a competition consisting of events pitting workers from different ranches against each other. The rodeo at this festival is pretty serious: Hands from 15 famous Texas ranches will do battle in contests such as wild cow milking, team roping, calf branding, mutton busting and team sorting. May the best one win.
FUN FOR ALL AGES: Adults can become immersed in the history and culture of the Texas Trail Hall of Fame induction ceremony, get spiritual at cowboy church, or enjoy team roping by the Tejas Vaquero and Ranchero Visitadores. Kids who feel especially creative can compete in youth fiddling and poetry contests. And everyone who’s hungry can take advantage of a tradition that came long before food-truck festivals: The chuckwagons that set up camp during the festival will compete in an old-fashioned cook-off on Oct. 27.
MUSIC & DANCING: There’ll be concerts on Friday and Saturday featuring such acts as Quebe Sisters, Dan Roberts, Don Edwards, Jean Prescott and, of course, Red Steagall and the Boys in the Bunkhouse. Bring your best moves; the dancefloor will beckon. On Sunday, many of the fest’s performers will get together for a special “Cowboy Gospel Concert.”
Find out more about the Red Steagall Cowboy Gathering and Western Swing Festival here.