Cowboys are the stuff of legends—but they’re also real people, with plenty of stories to tell. “A cowboy is a job title,” explains Mark McMillan, who is the president of the BC Cowboy Heritage Society. Male or female, cowboys look after cows on ranches for a living.

From March 14 to 17, 2019, the Kamloops Cowboy Festival celebrates the authentic culture and heritage of cowboys in British Columbia. “Kamloops is huge in the western culture,” says McMillan. “And you don’t have to be a cowboy to enjoy the festival.”

Here are the top 5 things not to miss.

 

Cowboy Music

“This is not country music,” McMillan emphasizes. While country music tends to focus on love songs, cowboy music tells stories about everyday life. You’ll hear songs about the land, cattle, horses, and so on.

 

Cowboy Poetry

“People think we invented it,” McMillan says, chuckling. “But cowboy poetry goes back years and years.” These stories about cowboy life were first told around the campfire, then put to rhyme. Along with music, poetry forms part of the dinner theatre evening shows. Over 25 entertainers will perform during the festival.

 

Art of the West Show and Sale

This juried art show focuses on cowboy life. Painting, drawings, photography, and sculpture depict working cowboy life with subjects such as horses and cattle.

 

BC Cowboy Hall of Fame Induction

A highlight during one of the evening feature shows on Friday, March 15, this ceremony will honour exceptional ranchers and ranching families in British Columbia.

 

Western Art and Gear Show

This trade show runs throughout the festival with exhibitors selling everything from custom-made saddles and cowboy gear to artwork and home décor.

Tickets for the family-friendly festival are available for individual evenings, days, or the whole weekend. Purchase tickets by phone at 1-888-763-2221 (toll-free).

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