Time to Cowboy Up in Ellsworth

Great Western Entertainment to be Featured at Chisholm Trail events in Ellsworth Oct. 19-22

National award-winning cowboy musician R. W. Hampton will headline a weekend of western entertainment and programming in Ellsworth to commemorate the 150th anniversary of the Ellsworth Cut-off from the famed Chisholm Trail.  Activities take place on October 19-22, 2023.

“We’re pleased to offer a full weekend of fun, food, western history and entertainment in Ellsworth,” said D. R. Katzenmeier, president of the International Chisholm Trail Association.  Events include the Chisholm Trail Conference on Oct. 19-20, an evening concert by R. W. Hampton on Oct. 20, free western music and cowboy poetry on Oct. 21, and cowboy church on Oct. 22.

R.W. Hampton is winner of four Academy of Western Artists Male Vocalist of the Year awards, Wrangler awards from the National Cowboy & Western Heritage Museum, a Lifetime Achievement Award from the Association of Cowboy Culture, and Western Music Association Hall of Fame inductee. He will speak at the Chisholm Trail Conference and present a concert on Friday, Oct. 20 at 7 p.m. at Ellsworth City Auditorium. Concert tickets are $30 and can be purchased at https://www.chisholmtrailassn.com/chisholm-trail-conference or at Eventbrite.

The annual Chisholm Trail Conference will be Friday, October 20 at the Ellsworth Health and Recreation Center in Ellsworth, with a pre-conference tour on October 19.  To register for the conference, go to https://www.chisholmtrailassn.com/chisholm-trail-conference.  Conference registration is $75 with a membership to the International Chisholm Trail Association, $85 for non-members.  Besides R.W. Hampton, speakers include Michael Grauer of the National Cowboy & Western Heritage Museum, trails scholar Dr. Michelle Martin, western movie producer Ken Spurgeon, western entertainer Jeff Davidson, and more.

Saturday, October 21 features free entertainment in downtown Ellsworth.  The Ellsworth Historical Complex and National Drover’s Hall of Fame building will be open for tours.  The Nick Lentz Beer Hall will open at noon.  Free entertainment in Ellsworth City Auditorium includes Tallgrass Express String Band at 1 p.m. and cowboy poetry at 3 p.m. featuring Scott Wiswell, Colby Richard, Greg Swob, John Marks, and poet lariat Ron Wilson.  Drover’s lunch and Drover’s suppers will be available.  Saturday at 7 p.m. is an old-fashioned street dance featuring the Jonathan Dahlke String Band.

Sunday, October 22 will be a Cowboy Church Service featuring R.W. Hampton in the historic church at Ellsworth Historical Complex.  Seating is limited so early arrival is recommended.

More information can be found at https://www.chisholmtrailassn.com/chisholm-trail-conference.