The Buck Schrader Memorial Foundation and the Grand Canyon Chamber of Commerce present the sixth annual Hole in the Ground Cowboy Poetry and Music Gathering Nov. 3-6.
According to Buck's son and event organizer Ty Schrader, more than 26 poets and musicians will come from as far away as Alaska to pay tribute to his dad's memory and to carry on the oral tradition that has its roots in immigrant folk songs and campfire gatherings.
"This is a gathering of friends," he said. "They were very good friends of my father. He had a knack for finding people who sang and could remember the cowboy tradition."
Ty, who will also perform, says he has embraced his father's legacy.
"Basically, I got a good memory, good looks, charm and the ability to BS my way through a lot of stuff," he said.
The hallmark of a cowboy poet, he said, is that "if you can't make something up, you're pretty much in trouble."
Family-friendly events are planned in Tusayan and the park,These include free programs, a free all-day show on Saturday, Nov. 4 (location to be announced), followed by a barbecue dinner with live auction and dance with Exit 64. The weekend ends on Sunday, Nov. 6, with cowboy church.
Proceeds from the event will benefit the Buck Schrader Memorial Fund, which provides assistance to locals in need.
"My father was here for the better part of 20 years, so we want to keep his memory alive in the place he called home," said Ty.
Ty is working with the Chamber of Commerce this year to grow and promote the event. Eventually, he said, they hope to expand the festival to a week-long gathering that will include western and Native American art, heritage and tradition.
Friday, Nov. 3
12-3 p.m.: Free program at the Shrine of the Ages, featuring Ty Schrader, Paul Karlsberger, Sid Housemen, Bud Strom, Jim Dunham, Ross Knox, Joe Bear, Carol and Dan Jarvis, Tony Norris and Chris Isaacs.
6:30-8:30 p.m.: Music and poetry program at the National Geographic Visitors Center, cost is $5 per person and free for children six and under. Performers include Tony Norris, Joe Baer, Atz Kilcher, Mike Dunn, Way Out West Trio, Lil-bit Devine, Sid Hausman and Rolf Flake.
9 p.m.-1 a.m.: Free open mike and jam session, Canyon Star Restaurant at the Grand Hotel. Everyone is welcome to participate.
Saturday, Nov. 4
10 a.m.-3 p.m.: Free all-day show with location to be determined. Box lunches and beverages will be available for purchase and a silent auction will be held in conjunction with the event. Peforming are Ty Schrader, Lil Bit Devine, Ken and Lynn Mikel, Bill Schrader, Sid Houseman, Chris Isaacs, Tony Norris, Foster Schrader, Stan Schrader, Bud Strom, Ross Knox, Joe Baer, Carol and Dan Jarvis, Way Out West, Atz Kilcher, Mike Dunn, Tom Weathers, Buckshot Dot, Jim Dunham and Paul Karlsberger.
4-8:30 p.m.: Barbecue dinner, music and live auction show. The cost is $15 for adults, $5 for children ages 12-7, children ages 6 and under are free. Performers include Jim Dunham, Chris Isaacs, Sid Hausman, Carol and Dean Jarvis, Tom Weathers, Bud Strom, Buckshot Dot, Ross Knox and the Way Out West Trio.
9 p.m.-midnight: Dance the night away with Exit 64 at the Canyon Star at the Grand Hotel.
Sunday, Nov. 5
9-10 a.m.: Cowboy Church in the Grand Hotel conference room.