Kamloops Cowboy Festival celebrates the western way of life

By Jill Sperling
March 15, 2019 - 4:12pm Updated: March 15, 2019 - 5:27pm

KAMLOOPS — All things cowboy are on display at the Coast Convention Centre, marking the 23rd year of the Kamloops Cowboy Festival. 

"What is the Cowboy Festival? It's the celebration of rural I guess, of ranching and cowboy — people don't know that there are still cowboys out there working," said festival chair Mark McMillan. 

The festival is put on by cowboys, but it's open to everyone. 

The event includes a trade show for vendors to sell their products and an art show. 

"Paintings, photography, and it's juried so it has to get accepted to be entered to be on display, and it is for sale as well, and we will be awarding prizes for the best of each class," McMillan said. 

Entertainers like David McClure come back to the festival year after year to perform for the crowd.  

"It's been a great experience," McClure said. "Mike Puhallo, one of the founders of this event, who passed away some years (ago) plugged me in up here. I miss him, and I miss some of the other entertainers who are not here. But, just to be able to get in front of people and make them laugh and to feel things that they wouldn't otherwise, it's kind of a neat feeling, and what I like to do."

McClure is a musician and poet, hailing from Washington State.

His cowboy poetry is all about story-telling. 

"Cowboy poetry is just kind of rhyme in meter," he said. "You put words together to tell stories ... Either you have it or you don't. I mean, some people try and some people don't have to try at all, it's kind of a neat, artistic form of story-telling is how I'd put that."

The Cowboy Festival runs all weekend long, with day passes available for $25.

UPDATE: RCMP say missing person has been found