The Missouri Cowboy Poetry Festival is the largest gathering of cowboy poet performers in Missouri. Twenty-Four Poet Performers come from Missouri, Kansas, Oklahoma, Texas and Arkansas. They are famous for their original cowboy poetry, side-slapping cowboy humor, talented cowboy musicians and mesmerizing cowboy storytellers.
This is truly a Mountain View, Missouri Cultural Tourism event! 24 Cowboy Poets perform original rhymes and original stories, some true to life. Their dedication helps to preserve the cowboy way of life that contributed to the Missouri and Western Movement. Missouri poets are from Willow Springs, Jasper, Rutledge, Louisburg, Oronogo, Columbia, Richards, Warsaw, Kansas City, Joplin, Bolivar, Verona and Springfield.
The festival originated in 1999 as a Cowboy Poet Gathering for the Missouri Cowboy Poets Association, now boasting 94 members. The number of poets performing here has grown to twenty-four poets, musicians and storytellers.
The program begins with a Friday afternoon, special free show, for the Mountain View Elementary students, at 1:00 p.m. The Cowboy Poets have performed for the students each year of the Festival; thanks to the excellent cooperation of the school board, Principal Loren Smith, elementary teachers and school board.
Friday evening at 5:00 p.m. the public is invited to have "Supper with the Cowboys", a ticket meal for $6.00. The Friday evening "Cowboy Poet's Roundup" performance begins at 6:00 p.m. The Mountain View Elementary fifth grade students who participated in the Cowboy Poetry writing will be featured during the Friday evening show. Students may read their poetry and receive a certificate from the Missouri Cowboy Poetry Association.
Saturday is a full day and evening of performances. Saturday morning at 9:00 a.m., some of the poets will entertain the Mountain View Healthcare Center residents, their visitors and families. Also Saturday morning 9:00 a.m., there is an open mike session for new poets, regulars or any poet who needs practice and just be heard. The public is invited to this free show. The show continues Saturday afternoon 1:00 p.m. as scheduled poets perform all afternoon at the Center.
Saturday evening is the "Grand Finale" of performances. This begins at 6 p.m. ($4.00) and sometimes lasts until the moon is high! Stay for the Jam Session!
Sunday, 10:45 a.m., as a tradition of the cowboy cattle driving trail days, the poets will lead their Cowboy Church Service at the Mountain View United Methodist Church, 609 East 5th Street. The public is invited to attend. Directly following the Cowboy Church, a Sunday dinner will be served in the Church Fellowship Hall. After church and some good food, there's more exciting poetry, stories and songs to conclude the Annual Cowboy Poetry weekend.
This festival is organized by the Mountain View Council on the Arts, Jennie Cummings at 417-934-2213 and Eulalia Polk 417-934-2756, with the assistance of many community covoc groups, volunteers and generous merchants! It is also partially funded by the Missouri Arts Council, a state agency.