Booth marks 10th annual Southeastern Cowboy Gathering
by Carly Grady
Mar 03, 2013 | 3313 views | 0 0 comments | 23 23 recommendations | email to a friend | print
Southeastern Cowboy Gathering
Madison Collins of Cartersville tells Renee Durdun, left, and Cindy Reddrick of Skillet and Spurs, his selection for lunch during last year’s Southeastern Chuck Wagon Cook-off part of the Booth Western Art Museum’s annual Southeastern Cowboy Gathering. SKIP BUTLER/The Daily Tribune News, File
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Strap on your boots, grab your 10-gallon hat and take a trip to the West without leaving Bartow County. The Booth Western Art Museum will host their 10th annual Southeastern Cowboy Gathering March 7-9. With various scheduled activities, the three-day gathering is sure to bring out the cowboy in us all.

“The term ‘gathering’ is a take-off on the spring and fall roundups when cowboys gather together on ranches to sort, doctor or ship cattle,” said Executive Director Seth Hopkins. “Throughout the Booth’s Gathering weekend, visitors will have ample opportunity to delight in the talented musicians, artists and cooks coming from across the country and around the state.”

This year’s feature artist will be famed sculptor David McGary, who is best known for his work with bronze. This will be McGary’s first major museum exhibition. “Native Expressions, Dave McGary’s Bronze Realism” will open March 7 and run through June 30.

He has won many award for his Native American sculptures and has been called the “Master of Realism,” according to After McGary casts his bronze sculptures, he paints them in a very detailed way.

New this year, the Booth will host a Featured Artist Golf Tournament at Woodland Hills Golf Club on Friday. Four-person teams are invited to play 18 holes and are guaranteed to play one hole with McGary. Prizes will be awarded to the top three teams, longest drive, closest to the pin and winner of the putting contest. Tickets for the tournament are $100 per person and include 18 holes, range balls, cart, box lunch and soft drinks.

While there will be activities on all three days of the gathering, most action will take place on Saturday, including the finals of the Writing Through Art Literacy Contest, Children’s Saturday Activities, an open music contest and the Western Concert at The Grand Theatre, with featured entertainers.

This year’s gathering will also host the eighth annual Southeastern Chuck Wagon Cook-off on Saturday, with seven wagons participating. It is the oldest and largest competition of its type east of the Mississippi, according to Hopkins.

“[The cook-off] is going to take place on the festival grounds and the teams of cooks will prepare beans, meats, potatoes, breads and dessert just as they did on cattle drives, like in the 1800s,” said Tom Shinall, director of marketing at the Booth. “People have the opportunity to purchase tickets. They’re $15 and they can be purchased in advance by calling the museum or coming up to the museum, but those ticket-holders will be served promptly at noon.

“Then around two o’clock, we will actually announce winners of that Chuck Wagon Cook-Off, what team did the best. There’s a list of rules and regulations and entry form for those Chuck Wagon Cook-Off teams that they go through and everything, but [the cook-off is] neat because [the wagons] get up on the festival grounds and set up. So you literally have one after the other of all these chuck wagons set up and people cooking and preparing. They are cooking over open flames, just like they did in the 1800s, so that’s big, that’s a lot of fun.”

The open music contest is another crowd favorite that will take place on Saturday. Participants are asked to register in advance for the chance to compete in the following categories: fiddle, mandoline, guitar and banjo. Cash prizes will be awarded to the competition winners.

“We have two different fiddle-picking contests — we have a junior division and then we have the open division. All those music contests will take place on Saturday from [1 to 6 p.m.] in the Booth ballroom, here inside the museum. Each one has a little bit of a different time frame. For instance, mandoline will begin at one o’clock, and we’ll have banjo competition at two o’clock and we’ll have guitar at three and so forth. That’s another great opportunity for people to get involved and have a good time,” Shinall said.

The cowboy gathering will conclude on Saturday with a Western concert by nine-time Grammy-winning “Kings of Texas Swing,” Asleep at the Wheel. This is the second year Asleep at the Wheel has come to Cartersville. The band has been around since 1970 and typically features eight to 11 musicians.

The band continuously changes, over 80 members have passed through their ranks, but frontman Ray Benson has held the band together for four decades, according to Their songs include “Choo Choo Ch’Boogie,” “The Letter That Johnny Walker Read” and “Red Wing.” Tickets are limited, but names will be placed on a waiting list.

“Asleep at the Wheel will be able to sign CDs and meet the fans in the encore room, just adjacent to The Grand Theatre downtown, following the show,” Shinall said. “They put on a great show last time they were in Cartersville and it was a couple years ago, so they’ve come back and we’re looking forward to having them as our featured entertainer.”

For a complete schedule of the Southeastern Cowboy Gathering and event fees, call 770-387-1300 or visit