Trent will transform into a cowboy attraction with one of the first Moody County summer events on June 2-3.
The Western Spirit and Cowboy Festival will include country music, food, a Dutch oven cook-off and a cowboy church service in an effort to raise money for the Trent Event Center, which is the old school gym. The town has been making improvements on the building to bring events to Trent.
Entertainment on June 2 will include Sherwin Linton, a South Dakota native and music legend, along with his wife, Pam; Cowboy Concerto with members of the Red River Band with special guest Jami Lynn, and Ron and Jane Cote. Cowboy poet and humorist Andy Nelson also will perform, and artist John Green will be on hand to finish a painting.
Organizers are looking for a crowd.
“I hope a couple thousand. Maybe I’m shooting too high,” said Matt Larson, Trent town board member who oversees the gym. Tickets are $15 in advance at TrentSD.com or $20 at the event.
The Dutch-oven cooking competition starts at 8 a.m. June 2 with entertainment starting at 11 a.m. Sherwin and Pam Linton will perform at 1 p.m. and 4 p.m. with Campfire Concerto at 6 p.m. and the event ending at 8 p.m.
Green’s western painting will be auctioned at 5:30 p.m.
Sunday’s activities, including a 10 a.m. church service by local Pastor David Knutson. A trail ride will start at 8 a.m., and a cowboy brunch will be from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. with a free-will donation.
Larson said the event is similar to Spirit of the West held north of Sioux Falls. That event drew 10,000 people, he said. “We’re really trying to get the word out there,” he said.
Most of the event, including the music, will be held outside with some vendors inside the center, he said.
The gym also will be available in case of rain.
Five food vendors will have various items including Indian tacos, barbeque, kettle corn and more, Larson said. The Trent Fire Department will serve alcohol, and the Trent Pool committee will have Pepsi and water for sale.
There will be parking on the northeast edge of Trent with a shuttle to bring people to the festival grounds.
Trent still is looking for volunteers to help with the event. If it goes well, the town could consider hosting it annually, Larson said.
The festival has received many donations, and all money raised will go to improve the venue, he said.
The community has raised nearly $100,000 toward that effort so far and has made many improvements, including restroom and kitchen updates, Larson said. The 58-year-old building still needs work on heating and air conditioning, the ceiling and floor, an entry and the parking lot.