Over the years, the event has drawn an ever-increasing crowd of Western enthusiasts.
“The amount of growth the festival has seen in 10 years is amazing,” said Tom Shinall, director of marketing for Booth.
From the first festival, which drew about 500, to last year’s festival which drew “several thousands,” Shinall said the event has become a tradition of sorts which has drawn crowds from across the region.
The four-day event will take place at Booth Western Art Museum and the Grand Theatre, both located in historic downtown Cartersville.
The Festival and Symposium begins Oct. 25 at 9 a.m. with the school program, Passport to the West. Living history performers Jim Sawgrass and Little Big Mountain will also give presentations on Native American culture.
Admission to the school program is $5 for students, $3 for adults and free for teachers. Educators interested in bringing their students to Passport to the West are urged to call (770) 387-3849 to schedule as soon as possible.
The Festival and Symposium opens to the public beginning with the exhibition opening of Family Traditions: The Art of John, Terri Kelly, and Bill Moyers at 5 p.m. From 5 to 7 p.m., visitors may meet and greet featured artists John and Terri Kelly Moyers and then attend a lecture by the couple in the Booth Theatre at 7 p.m.
An Artist’s Workshop led by John Moyers will be held for artists of all skill levels Oct. 26, beginning at 9 a.m. Call (770) 387-3849 to register. Meanwhile, a series of art history lectures on photography will be held in the Booth Theatre from 10:30 a.m. to 4 p.m.
Oct. 27 will begin with the Good Neighbor Homeless Shelter 5k Run at 8 a.m. To register for the race, call (770) 607-0610.
At 10 a.m., the museum grounds will open with two stages of continuous entertainment, children’s activities and a Western marketplace. The Kids’ Corner will include fun and free activities such as art projects, face painting, and calf roping. There also will be pony rides for a small charge. The marketplace vendors will be selling Western art and collectibles.
Entertainment will include living history encampments, demonstrations of pioneer skills, Western music, traditional Native American dancing by the Big Mountain Family, fast draw competitions, and re-enactments of the gunfight at the OK Corral.
Also, Booth will welcome Roy Rogers, Jr., son of Western movie hero and “King of the Cowboys” Roy Rogers, who will be performing alongside his own son Dustin in two shows.
Rogers will give two performances at 2 p.m. and 7 p.m. at the Grand Theatre. Tickets are $25 for members and $30 for non-members. For the 2 p.m. show, tickets for children 16 and under are $5. To purchase tickets, call (770) 387-1300.
The final day of the Festival and Symposium, will open with Cowboy Church at 11 a.m. Oct. 28. Cowboy Church is a non-denominational service featuring cowboy prayers and Western spiritual music.
The Cowboy Festival and Symposium will then continue with another full day of entertainment, children’s activities and the Western marketplace from noon to 5 p.m. on the grounds.
“This is the biggest event of the year,” said Jim Dunham, special event director for the Booth. “We really have some good shows.”
Information: boothmuseum.org or (770) 387-1300