Thank You, Elko: We Hope You Can Join Us May 4th

Photo by Jessica Brandi Lifland

Thank you, Elko is a free performance on May 4th for the community of Elko, featuring the humble songster Andy Hedges, local youth poets and special guests hosted by the Western Folklife Center at the G Three Bar Theatre and Pioneer Saloon.

Photo by Jessica Brandi Lifland

The Western Folklife Center event, Thank you, Elko, is in collaboration with the Northeastern Nevada Museum’s Halleck Bar Party ($20 suggested donation) on May 4. This is an opportunity to celebrate the “wild and wooly” history and culture of Elko County together, as well as extend our deep appreciation to the town that supports all of our events each year. We want to give special thanks to our local volunteers and sponsors that help to create and support the National Cowboy Poetry Gathering, including the Northeastern Nevada Museum.

The evening begins at 6:00 pm at the Northeastern Nevada Museum on Idaho Street with the adults attending “the best cocktail party in Elko for the past 40+ years!” The Halleck Bar Party was established to honor the acquisition of the antique bar and back bar from a saloon in the nearby town of Halleck. Always with a promise of gin, the Party will feature spirits and light refreshments, an art sale, yellow duck sales for the annual duck races and live piano music with a brief appearance by Andy Hedges.

Photo by Charlie Ekburg

Meanwhile, at 7:30 pm, a younger generation of poets from local ranch families in the area will begin their performance down on old Railroad Street at the Western Folklife Center. These young poets will be hosted by a special guest and remember cowboy poetry traditions. Andy Hedges will take the stage at 8:00 pm performing two 45-minute sets with a 15-minute intermission. This is just enough time for the Old West to begin flowing onto the streets to travel all the way from the Halleck Bar Party, past good ol’ Sherman Station, to the historic Pioneer Saloon downtown!

Photo by David Tau

At 8:00 pm dessert cocktails inspired by some of our favorite historical poems will flow at the Pioneer Saloon. The historic Pioneer Saloon, much like the Halleck Bar, is a “living visual memory of the Old West”. The Pioneer Saloon’s roots date back to the founding of the city of Elko in December of 1868. Possibly the first bar in Elko, the Pioneer Saloon began in a simple tent. Painters and ranchers stayed at the Pioneer in exchange for saddles or murals. So join in and dress up to the “old west” theme from the Halleck Bar to the Pioneer Saloon.

Andy Hedges is a self-taught songster, cowboy poetry reciter and storyteller with a varied repertoire including classic cowboy poetry recitations, obscure cowboy songs, dust bowl ballads and blues. He lives in Texas with his wife and children. Andy reached out to the Western Folklife Center to collaborate with us on creating a performance of “Thanks!” to the community of Elko for all they do during the National Cowboy Poetry Gathering. Everyone pitches in from local restaurants, hotels, museums, teachers, artists and even our Board of Directors whom are also volunteers to our organization. It is fitting to join the Museum for this evening of gratitude simply because the Western Folklife Center had their original offices for the Cowboy Poetry Gathering at the Museum! This year will be our 35th National Cowboy Poetry Gathering. It is thanks to the community of Elko, that we are able to host our signature event every year.

Learn more about Andy Hedges.

Thank you, Elko is sponsored in part by the Nevada Arts Council, a state agency, and the National Endowment of the Arts, a federal agency, and with generous support of the Red Lion Inn and Casino.

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