It was January, 1995 when cowboy poetry came to Loomis. Bert and Carol Braun were returning from Elko, Nevada, where they had just spent four days attending cowboy poetry performances. It was decided on the way home that the nostalgic venue was worth bringing home.
They went right to work, and by November that year, they held the first annual Cowpoke Fall Gathering. This first year the event was held in the Red Brick Art Center, with a seating capacity of 75, and both the Friday night and Saturday night shows were sold out. The poets were all locals who had been writing and reciting for years.
The event was so successful that new venues needed to be added in the following years. By the third year we were using three locations and entertaining 500 fans. Meanwhile a group of residents and business leaders formed the South Placer Heritage Foundation and began restoring a local fruit shed in downtown Loomis. When it was ready for occupancy in 2004, with a seating capacity of 400, we were able to have three shows, all sold out, and we had found a new home for the Cowpoke Fall Gathering.
Today, the Blue Goose Event Center is a state-of-the-art event center that is used by many organizations and is a jewel in our community.
We have donated funds since the very beginning to various charities. The South Placer Heritage Foundation has been one of our beneficiaries since 1998, and we are proud to have been a part of the Blue Goose renovation project. In 2010 a non-profit 501(c)(3) was formed, and the Cowpoke Foundation was established.
As the event has grown, so has the number of volunteers. We have been fortunate from the beginning for the caliber of volunteers that have helped make this event the success it is today.