EARLY— The sparse crowds during Saturday’s Cowboy Gathering will not deter Stagecoach Station Venues owners from bring back the event next summer.

With temperatures reaching into the 100s throughout the day, patrons of the inaugural Stagecoach Station Venues Cowboy Gathering were few and far between, but Stagecoach co-owner Pam Ribble said plans to return the event in 2019 are not off the table.

“We all hustled and slapped it together in less than 60 days,” Ribble said. “It came together well, it just happened to be at the hottest time of the year.”

Similar to a renaissance festival, men and women clad in western garb spent the day performing songs, poems, and even an old west shootout, well into the early evening hours. The musicians, poets and actors contracted through the Western Music Association seemingly transported attendees to an era when the land Stagecoach Stations Venues occupies, just north of the Heartland Mall, once acted as a stop along Chidester mail route from Fort Worth to Yuma when the floodwaters made Pecan Bayou impassable. Ribble said she used Saturday’s event as a pilot, similar to a television pilot, and will evaluate how to make the event better next year and said the lack of turnout will not effect her final decision.

“This is the pilot. Whether or not we move it up to early or later in the year is a possibility. It just depends on what the music association wants to do,” Ribble said. “… We going to try and keeping making this a positive place for everybody and make improvements where we can and keep moving forward. If the weather had been a little bit better we would have had a good turnout. Later on this evening, when we have our headliner act, I think more people will come out.”

Ribble believes Saturday was far from a setback for Stagecoach and thanked Brown County citizens for supporting the organization since it launched its first public event last December with a Stagecoach Christmas. In March, the venue hosted its Stagecoach Market Days and plans to return this fall for another Stagecoach Market Days event.

“The venders, after the first one, wanted us to have another one,” Ribble said. “Some of them wanted to do it every month. The feedback we got from the venders and the attendees and the various entities and chambers of commerce from the city of Early and the city of Brownwood. We definitely want to do it again. We had 85 venders and April and try to match and go beyond that if we can.”

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