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“Not worth the stop”

Western Folklife Center
Ranked #3 of 13 things to do in Elko
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Attraction details
Owner description: This center focuses on contemporary folk art, cowboy gear and serves as the headquarters for the Cowboy Poetry Gathering.
Level 2 Contributor
9 reviews
5 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 2 helpful votes
“Not worth the stop”
Reviewed July 23, 2012

Didn't find the charge worth the stop. Free might have been better. There is a gift shop attached but we weren't interested.

Visited July 2012
Thank Tommie M
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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45 reviews from our community

Visitor rating
Date | Rating
  • English first
  • Italian first
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English first
Langley, Washington
Level 6 Contributor
116 reviews
23 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 37 helpful votes
“My 12th Visit”
Reviewed February 8, 2012

Another great time for poetry, music, friendships and informative lectures.

Visited February 2012
Thank Harvey6f
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Elko, Nevada
Level 4 Contributor
33 reviews
17 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 13 helpful votes
“Cowboy country”
Reviewed January 28, 2012

This old restored hotel hosts a wonderful selection of cowboy "stuff". This is the center for the Cowboy Poetry Festival each year in Elko Nevada. It hosts a miriad of music and poetry all western themed and from authentic real cowboy "types", not the drugstore kind. What a breath of real country entertainment and atmosphere. Great fun.

Thank Sweetpickles0201
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Level 3 Contributor
22 reviews
21 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 28 helpful votes
“this attraction is either a joke or worth seeing”
Reviewed July 12, 2010

How many times do you get this conflict -you get it when two analyst talk stocks- look this is the home of amajor national event but when the event is not happening- there isno reason to see this place unless you want to do a 5 mintue tours- end of story- National Gay Lesbian Bisexual Transgender Travel Desk

Thank doctoriragruber
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Level 6 Contributor
102 reviews
25 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 54 helpful votes
“Totally Over-rated”
Reviewed August 9, 2009

After attending numerous Cowboy Poetry Gatherings around North America, I decided to go the Big One. The 25th Anniversary of the National Cowboy Poetry Gathering in Elko, NV. The Western Folklife Center hosts this 10 day event in January every year and being that it's the biggest in the country, you would expect big things. Well, that's not the case.
The Western Folklife Center does have a good selection of Cowboy music and books which are hard to find elsewhere (except in the Buffalo Bill Museum in Cody, WY). I managed to find several CD's that I was not even able to find on Amazon which was great.
That being said, that's about it. The "museum" part of the WFC is a joke. Absolutely nothing to see. When I was there, the big display they had advertised consisted of about 10 saddles and 20 bridles. Not at all what you'd expect.
As for the Cowboy Gathering - the music and poets are truly the best of the best. The venues for the event are good - especially the Elko Convention Center. However the 3 Bar G theatre in the WFC is disappointing. Or rather it's the staff who are badly disorganized and seem to have no clue what's going on. The theatre itself is cosy and has good acoustics. However, do not ask anyone for help - rather just follow the crowd. I asked 3 staff members where I needed to go and which door I needed to be at and they ALL directed me to the WRONG door! So needless to say, 5 minutes before the show, I realized they were incorrect and managed to sneak in the backdoor, nabbing one of the last seats. One gets the impression that the locals consider this event a huge imposition and do not want to help anyone who is not from around Elko. I experienced this at the WFC, at the Convention Center, at the hotel, at restaurants and even stores.
So that being said, if you're driving thru Elko, stop at the WFC and pick up some hard to find CD's and books. But if you want to hear real cowboy music AND meet friendly people go to Heber City, UT or Ellensburg, WA. I would not recommend making a special trip to the WFC or to Elko - especially in January!

1 Thank CowboyUpAlberta
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

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