Cheyenne Cowboy Heart of the West Festival 


News Release                                                                                                                 Cheyenne, WY - July 20, 2007

Wyoming's Largest Gathering of

Cowboy Poets, Musicians, Storytellers, and Artisans


Click here for a complete event schedule.


Cowboy Legends

Waddie Mitchell

and Don Edwards

Waddie Mitchell 

From his earliest days on the remote Nevada ranches where his father worked, Waddie Mitchell was immersed in the cowboy way of entertaining, the art of spinning tales in rhyme and meter that came to be called cowboy poetry, a Western tradition that is as rich as the lifestyle that gave birth to it. 


Don Edwards

Grammy nominated singer-guitarist Don Edwards is an acclaimed historian, author, and musicologist who is unusually well-versed in cowboy lore and musical traditions. Don Edwards has two recorded anthologies of cowboy songs, Guitars & Saddle Songs and Songs of the Cowboy, included in the Folklore Archives of the Library of Congress.  

Cheyenne hosts the inaugural Heart of the West Festival showcasing Wyoming's largest gathering of cowboy poets, western musicians, storytellers, and artisans on Labor Day weekend, Friday, August 31 through Sunday, September 2, 2007.  The festival celebrates and preserves historic traditions of the authentic Old West through concerts, poetry readings, a juried art show, a gunfight, book signings, a chuck wagon dinner around a campfire, and a Cowboy Church service.



Bard and BalladeerThe Bard and the Balladeer

After a Friday night kick-off reception at The Historic Plains Hotel, cowboy legends Waddie Mitchell and Don Edwards join together to perform with the Cheyenne Symphony Orchestra at the Cheyenne Civic Center.  Mitchell and Edwards, famous for western prose, combine song and folklore with invigorating instrumentals.  Call 307-637-6363 for tickets.  (Read more about Waddie Mitchell and Don Edwards in the sidebar.) 



More to Boot...

On Saturday, September 1, downtown Cheyenne reenacts bawdy gunslinger days with a good old-fashioned shoot-out in front of the Cheyenne Depot Museum.  Beginning at 10:00 AM, a variety of concerts will take place on three open-air stages located at The Plains Hotel, the Atlas Theatre, and the Depot Museum.  Performers include Tim Nolting, Rich O'Brien, Bobby Bridger, Gary McMahan, Barry Ward, and Jon Chandler & the Wichitones.  Best-selling author of western novels and poems, Jon Chandler along with other regional writers including Candy Moulton, John Nesbit, Lori Van Pelt, Corinne Brown, and C.J. Box will be on hand to autograph books.  Afterward, shine up your belt buckle and head over to the chuck wagon for some vittles and a sing-along around a blazing campfire.


An outdoor Cowboy Church service by Barry Ward, the Fellowship of Christian Athletes, and the Association of Christian Rodeo Cowboys rounds up the weekend on Sunday paying tribute to the rich Western legacy.  Breakfast will be available.




The Cheyenne Downtown Development Authority and The Plains Hotel coordinated efforts to create this new festival.  Event committee co-chairs, Debbie Disney, The Plains Hotel Assistant General Manager, and Jon Christoffersen, Cheyenne Downtown Development Authority Marketing Manager, agree that the deep-rooted cowboy heritage in Cheyenne makes for a perfect venue.   "The Cheyenne Heart of the West Festival brings together a rich variety of traditional western cultural resources targeting a diverse general audience to enrich their appreciation and understanding of the historic traditions of the authentic Old West" is the committees' mission statement.


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For a complete schedule, go to  Tickets are available online or by calling Kim Alameda at The Plains Hotel at 307-638-3311.  For the Friday night concert, The Bard and the Balladeer , call the Cheyenne Civic Center at 307-637-6363.



Three day pass to all events: $60

Friday evening concert pass : $30, $20

Saturday Gathering, (Atlas, Depot & Plains stages) with evening concert and dinner pass : $30

Saturday evening concert & dinner pass : $15

Cowboy Church breakfast pass : $10

Cowboy Church without breakfast open to the public



Debbie Disney, Assistant General Manager

The Plains Hotel

1600 Central Avenue

Cheyenne, WY 82001



Jon Christoffersen, Communications Coordinator

Cheyenne Downtown Development Authority

One Depot Square - 121 W. 15th Street, Suite 200

Cheyenne, WY 82001