Poets and musicians celebrated the Old West and entertained dozens at the 16th annual Cowboy Poetry and Music Festival at the Empty Saddle Club in Rolling Hills Estates last Saturday.
Organized by Pam Turner, this year's festival was dedicated to the memory of her father, Paul Pitti, who was the leader of the New Westernaires band and one of the last Culver City cowboys.
Attendees enjoyed a chili and cornbread dinner before the performances, which included music from the California Cowboys, Kathy Stowe and the Crosstown Cowboys, among others, and poetry from PVPHA president Charlene O'Neil, Wanda Smith and more.
According to O'Neil, the event keeps the spirit of the Old West—and local equestrians—at the forefront of the community's mind.
"To me, the image of the cowboy must stay alive if we are to enjoy our diminishing pastures and trails and maintain the aura of a horse friendly area," O'Neil said. "Everything we do that gives us notice as a group helps to keep us alive, so to speak."
Watch the attached video for a sample of O'Neil's poetry from the festival.