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Cowboy Poets and Pickers celebrates its 25th anniversary Friday


April 11, 2019

The annual Chinook High School Future Farmers of America fundraiser Montana Country Poets and Pickers is celebrating its 25th year and is gathering cowboy poets and musicians from across Montana, Canada and surrounding states to perform for the three-day event.

“If you happen to be in Chinook at the time the shows starts we’ll welcome you,” organizer Dale Mailand said.

The Poets and Pickers event will start Friday and have events until Sunday, he said, adding that tickets for the event will be sold at the door for each event for $10.

Showtimes for the events for Friday and Saturday will be at 7 p.m. at the Chinook High School Sweet Auditorium.

Saturday will also have a free day session at the Chinook Motor from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m., Mailand said, adding that they will also allow walkins for that event. He said it is open to anyone who wants to try their luck at pleasing an audience.

The event will include a Cowboy Church gathering Sunday at the Chinook Motor Inn starting at 10 a.m.

Mailand said they send out approximately 60 invitations to specific musicians and poets who they want to perform, some local, some Canadian and some from surrounding states.

Mailand added that this year they have approximately 20 people scheduled to perform.  

“Most of these people just like to perform,” he said.

In the past, Mailand said, they have had more than 175 people attend the event.

He said they have also changed the date for the event because February, when they previously held the event, was not the best time due to weather conditions. He said they moved the event to April, but are facing the issue that many producers are beginning to work on their farms or ranches at this time. Some of their Canadian performers were also not able to attend because another group in Calgary, Canada, was hosting a similar event on the same dates.

The event may also have well-known local entertainers performing such as Kenny Overcast and Warren Taylor, he said.

Sunday they will be having a special performance from John Ulberg of Helena, with his first performance here, he said.

Mailand said that, after a near-death experience, Ulberg started thinking about all the things that have taken place in his life and how lucky he was to still be alive. At the event Ulberg will sing a song and explain all of the things he discovered after his experience.


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