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About the Cowboy Festival and Carson Valley


The Genoa Cowboy Festival is a wonderful blend of beautiful setting, entertainment, heritage and Western culture. Nestled at the base of the Sierra Nevada in the beautiful Carson Valley, historic Genoa is the site of the first ranch in Nevada and still has working cattle ranches literally steps from the center of town. From its 19th century beginnings, cowboys and ranching have shared work, words and music here. You’d be hard pressed to find a better place to celebrate the unique forms of Cowboy Music, Cowboy Poetry, Old West history and the Western lifestyle.

Genoa Cowboy Festival 2016

The Genoa Cowboy Festival made its entrance into the world of festivals in 2010 with the tremendous efforts of the Town of Genoa and a host of volunteers and supporters. Thousands of folks have made their way to the shows, dinners, galleries and workshops. Both attendees and performers comment often about this event with high praise and a willingness to return again and again.

> Map to Historic Genoa, Nevada

If you are new to the festival, one thing you will certainly appreciate is that, with the exception of the bus tours, all of the venues are located within just a few blocks in Genoa. Park once and you should be able to see and hear all you want without getting back into a car or shuttle.

The goal for this year is to continue to build on the success of the previous years and make it even better! Come help us build a tradition of celebrating the Cowboy Way and Western lifestyle.

Genoa and Carson Valley

The Carson Valley unfolds on Nevada’s western border, framed by the Carson Range of the Sierra Nevada and the Pine Nut Mountains. Broad and green, nourished by the Carson River and its tributaries, the Valley appeared as an oasis to early western settlers drawn by the California Gold Rush of 1849. Today, it is spectacular scenery for travelers on US Highway 395 and the over 35,000 residents living around the valley.

Genoa appears much as it did in the 1800's era. Among the first settlers was John Reese, who established the first permanent settlement in Nevada in 1851, which he would later christen the town Genoa — named after Genoa, Italy, birthplace of Christopher Columbus. Visitors to its center will find more than a few examples of nineteenth century architecture within strolling distance of the town center. And even now, it still resists traffic signals, sidewalks and other trappings of modern cities.

As the home of a number of Nevada firsts — first permanent settlement, ranch and bar — Genoa’s ranching history reaches back to pre-Civil War days. Cowboys have been working this neck of the woods for over 160 years and it’s easy to stand in town, look around and feel as though you might have stepped back into the Nineteenth century when you hear cattle lowing in a nearby field and riders on horses trotting by on a sunny day.

Present day Genoa offers visitor comforts like fine dining establishments, intimate lodging and local shopping, and a chance to explore a rich history in its museums. The 270 residents are fiercely proud of their town and yet are willing to share it with visitors. All in all, it’s a perfect setting for this event.

Click here to find out more about Genoa and the Carson Valley.

CLICK HERE to go to our Map to Genoa page >

Look up driving directions on Google Maps using the link on our Map page.

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