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Posted on: July 7, 2016

16-040 ‘Celebrating Cultures’ returns to Pearrygin Lake State Park

Evening concert features cowboy and fisher poets and old-time music

OLYMPIA – July 7, 2016 – The Washington State Parks and Recreation Commission Folk & Traditional Arts in the Parks Program invites the public to the Celebrating Cultures event at Pearrygin Lake, near Winthrop.

The free evening concert runs from 6 to 9 p.m. Saturday, July 23, on the east shore of Pearrygin Lake State Park, 561 Bear Creek Road, Winthrop. (Directions:

Celebrating Cultures will highlight spoken-word performances by cowboy and fisher poets—stories and adventures from the high plains to the high seas, with high-energy music and dance from the Washington old-time community woven in. Admission is free. A Discover Pass is required for vehicle access to the park.

Cowboy Poets

John Doran has made his home on the Walking D Ranch outside of Twisp since he was in the first grade. He claims two main occupations over the years—smoke jumping and ranching. He’s also worked as a wilderness guide, participated in the annual reenactment of the Battle of the Little Big Horn and served as a cavalry and mule-packing consultant to the U.S. Army. In the 1990s, he attended the National Cowboy Poetry Gathering in Elko, Nevada, and was prompted to begin writing and sharing his own stories about life on the land. Doran is known as the Celtic Cowboy, playing the Irish whistle, harmonica and bagpipes.

Dick Warwick was reared amid the rolling Palouse Country hills of eastern Washington—where he still lives—in farm country that produces dryland crops of wheat, barley, lentils and peas. He says the landscape is ingrained in his brain, and its rhythms are as familiar as his heartbeat. Warwick became a fan of Australian bush poetry one evening in 1981, in Perth, Western Australia. There he heard the Australian classic sheepherder poems for the first time. Later, at the National Cowboy Poetry Gathering, he heard cowboy poets and realized that he, too, was a poet: He had been writing similar material for many years.

Fisher Poets

Moe Bowstern was raised in upstate New York. At an early age, she found she enjoyed writing, telling and reading stories. She began her relationship with the ocean in the summer of 1986 when she sign on as a deckhand and cook on the fishing vessel Sunrunner out of Kodiak, Alaska. She fished eight seasons aboard Kodiak salmon seiners. By 1995, she was fishing six months a year for herring, halibut, cod and salmon. She still fishes, and she is a crowd favorite at the annual Fisher Poets Gathering in Astoria, Oregon. Bowstern now divides her time between Portland, Oregon and Portnockie, Scotland.


Patrick Dixon grew up running through the cornfields of northern Indiana. At age 13, his father took him fishing in Ontario for the first time. The north woods and the idea of living near wilderness caught his imagination, so he moved to Alaska shortly after college—just to “take a look.” He taught in the winters and fished commercially in the waters of Cook Inlet for salmon in the summers. Dixon’s first writings about fishing were visceral responses to the Exxon Valdez oil spill, and he’s been writing about the maritime life ever since. Since moving to Olympia, he has freelanced for photography and magazine articles. Dixon has participated in the Fisher Poets Gathering in Astoria, Oregon, and at venues throughout Alaska and the Pacific Northwest.



Old-Time Variety Music

Squirrel Butter

Squirrel Butter plays all over the Pacific Northwest and was featured on National Public Radio’s “Prairie Home Companion” at its St. Michelle Winery show last summer. The duo performs traditional and original music influenced by Appalachian, early country, jug band and blues artists from the late 1800s through the 1950s. Charlie Beck is a virtuoso on the banjo, fiddle and steel guitar. Charmaine Slaven plays fiddle, guitar and feet, letting loose with some amazing old-time clogging steps as she plays. More about duo is here:

About the Folk and Traditional Arts in the Parks Program

The Celebrating Cultures Concert is part of a broader series of events celebrating Washington’s diverse cultural communities, presented by the Folk and Traditional Arts in the Parks Program with funding provided by grants from the National Endowment for the Arts and the Washington State Parks Foundation.

For more information about the Folks and Traditional Arts in the Parks program, including upcoming events, visit: or contact Debbie Fant, Program Coordinator, at or 360-902-8635. 


About Washington State Parks

The Washington State Parks and Recreation Commission manages more than 100 state parks and properties totaling approximately 120,000 acres. The Commission provides a variety of recreation opportunities for citizens and provides stewardship protection for a diverse array of natural, cultural and historic resources. State Parks’ statewide programs include long-distance trails, boating safety and winter recreation.

Follow Washington State Parks:

Share your favorite state park adventure on the State Parks’ blog site at

Support state parks by purchasing your annual Discover Pass today, and enjoy a whole year of outdoor fun on Washington’s beautiful state-managed recreation lands. For more information, visit

MEDIA CONTACTS:                         

Toni Droscher (360) 902-8604
Debbie Fant, (360) 902-8635

Wash. Telecommunications Relay Service:
(800) 833-6388


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