Western Art Show & Cowboy Poetry Gathering

September 22-23, 2023

Wild West Weekend

During the ND Rodeo Association Finals
McKenzie County Ag Expo

Celebrate our western heritage at the North Dakota’s Rodeo Finals. Enjoy the art show featuring western artists, makers, crafters and hands on classes and demonstrations and sit down between rodeos to listen to some of the best storytellers in the genre! Then dance the nights away with internationally touring western swing band, Sam Platts and the Plainsmen.

  • Friday, September 22
    • 6 – 8 PM-Western Art Show
    • 7 PM – NDRA Rodeo
  • Saturday, September 23
    • 9 – 11 AM- Flapjacks & Flannels Pancake Breakfast
      • Meet the Contestants!
    • 11 AM – 8 PM -Western Art Show
      • Classes and Demos throughout the day
    • 10 AM – 7 PM – Cowboy Kid Zone
      • Dress like a cowboy, learn to rope, play games, make a western art project, ride the bucking bull and buy some cowboy gear and treats at the Cowboy Canteen!
    • 12 Noon- Birch Bark Biting Demonstration with Denise Lajimodiere
    • 1 PM – 3 PM – Rodeo
    • 3-4 PM-Glass Pendant Class with Kathy Monti
    • 4 – 6 PM – Cowboy Poetry Gathering Performance
      • North Dakota Poet Laureate Denise Lajimodiere
      • Sam Platts
      • DW Groethe
      • Jonathan Odermann
      • Jessie Veeder
    • 7 – 9 PM – NDRA Rodeo
    • 9 PM – Western Band and Community Dance with Sam Platts & the Plainsmen

Full Schedule and information about the Wild West Weekend

Western Art Show Artists Booths are limited.
Call Jessie to inquire about a space at 701-770-8659

About the Musicians & Poets

Cowboy Poetry Gathering
Saturday, Sept. 23
4-6 PM
McKenzie County Ag Expo | Watford City, ND

Sam Platts and the Plainsmen

“You have to throw a little Western swing into any mix, and one of the sound’s greatest modern purveyors is Sam Platts. His Montana band offers up expertly crafted takes on traditional sounds, with plenty of humor and wit baked into the lyrics.” ~ Hunter Hauk, Cowboys & Indians Magazine

The Plainsmen is a western-swing and country group composed of Sam, Lilly Platts, J Kane, and Bill Dwyer. The group is inspired by traditional country music and western swing, playing originals and their favorite standards. While the group is dedicated to the tradition of country and western swing music, we aren’t a throwback group. We’re modern people who have chosen this genre of music because we love it, and because people love to listen to it. This is music you can dance to, sit and listen to, and enjoy.

Learn more

Denise Lajimodiere

North Dakota Poet Laureate

Denise Lajimodiere is a founder of the National Native American Boarding School Healing Coalition, a nonprofit focused on supporting boarding school survivors. She is an enrolled citizen of the Turtle Mountain Band of Chippewa (Ojibwe).

Lajimodiere’s book Stringing Rosaries: the History, the Unforgivable, and the Healing of North American Indian Boarding School Survivors (2019) features interviews from boarding school survivors. The book includes her experiences being raised by her parents, who are boarding school survivors. Now retired, she spent more than 44 years in education as a teacher at Edwin Loe Elementary School, an instructor at Turtle Mountain Middle School, a principal for Turtle Mountain Elementary School and an assistant professor in educational leadership at North Dakota State University.

Lajimodiere is author of the poetry collections Dragonfly Dances, Thunderbird, Bitter Tears and His Feathers Were Chains, and of the children’s book Josie Dances. She is a traditional Jingle Dress dancer and Ojibwe birchbark biting artist. -NPR, July 7, 2022
Join Denise for a birchbark biting demo on Saturday at noon in the McKenzie County Ag Expo 

Learn more

Jonathan Odermann

Cowboy Poet

Jonathan Odermann is a third-generation rancher who raises cattle in the badlands of western North Dakota. His cow calf operation is located along the Little Missouri River about half way between the Theodore Roosevelt National Park in Medora, and Theodore Roosevelt’s original Elk Horn ranch site. He was inspired to start sharing his verse after attending the Dakota Cowboy Poetry Gathering in Medora. Jonathan’s original work runs the gamut from short, funny pieces to longer, epic sagas, and he likes to amuse and delight his audience with a blend of humorous and thought provoking poems inspired by his real life experiences. Jonathan really enjoys cowboy poetry and encouraging others to share their stories through written and visual art. Jonathan is a regular poet at the National Cowboy Poetry Gathering.

DW Groethe

Cowboy Poet

DW Groethe is the son of a son of pioneers. He was born and raised in the west of Dakota and has lived the past 25-plus years across the border in Montana. It is the same land…same folks…same weather…same heartbeat. The lyrics may change but the rhythm stays true. He is a ranch hand, he is a poet, he is a songster. His songs and his poems sing of who he is and where he comes from. DW has been a regular performer at the National Cowboy Poetry Gathering in Elko, NV.

Jessie Veeder


Jessie Veeder writes and sings about the badlands of Western North Dakota where she grew up as the fourth generation on her family’s cattle ranch. She released her first original album at sixteen and has gone on to tour nationally, releasing three more original albums and two books about rural living. Her latest project is “Prairie Princess,” a children’s book that celebrates a child’s connection to the land. Blending western, rock, blues and heartfelt, honest lyrics, Jessie sings, writes and talks about raising cattle, kids and community along the gravel and tours the country on this story’s behalf. Jessie and her husband work alongside her father on the ranch, raising their two young daughters and Angus cattle. She chronicles life on the land on her popular blog, in a weekly regional column and a podcast, all titled “Meanwhile, back at the ranch…”Jessie was voted North Dakota’s favorite folk musician and is a recipient of the North Dakota Governor’s Award for Individual Achievement in the Arts.

Western Art Show

Friday, Sept. 22
5-8 PM
Saturday, Sept. 23
10 AM – 9 PM
McKenzie County Ag Expo | Watford City, ND
* some artists may stay open after the final rodeos of the evening*

Maria Borkowski

We Three Bs Photography
Watford City, ND
Western Photography, cards, prints, canvases and more

Daphne Clark

Williston, ND
Western Oil Paintings

Ellen Jean Diederich

Fargo, ND
Original watercolor and acrylic paintings, notecards, reproductions & books

Barb Kalenze

Kalenze Craft Fine Art
Berthold, ND
Giclee prints, original art (oil and pencil). Note cards

Kathy Monti

Prairie Light Art Glass
Berthold, ND
Fused Glass Art
Prairie Light Glass Studio on Facebook

Reiann Olson

R Bar L Leather
Watford City, ND
Leather Goods

Afton Ray-Rossol

Bold West Art
Sidney, MT
“Wildlife & The West” fine art paintings, prints, and art merch

Tracy Reis

Divine Treasures
Belfield, MT
Handpoured dough bowl candles, sublimation candles in jars, signs, rope art and more

Cheri Roshau

Art by Cheri Roshau
Dickinson, ND
Giclee and framed prints on canvas of rodeo art, bison, horses and ND Badlands

Morgan Wisness

River Ranch Woodworks
Keene, ND
One of a kind western furniture and home decor. All items are restored, hand painted or handmade with each piece inspired by a love for all things cowboy and southwestern.

Trish Stevenson

Trish Stevenson Fine Art
Sidney, MT
Western Art Paintings

Ken Roshau

Woodwork Crafted by Ken
Dickinson, ND
Charcuterie boards, cutting boards, coffee coasters and more

Kara Glenn

Chingona Art
Watford City, ND

Western Vendors

KO Leather and Hats
Rhianna’s Boutique
Saddle Up Western Store
The Buckled Bunny
Gold Buckle Tack

Thank you to the following supporters