BAKER – The Border Inn will host the 12th annual Old Sheepherders’ Party January 16th and 17th in Baker, Nevada.  Each year sheepherders gather to visit, swap stories, and record the fabric of a rapidly vanishing way of life.

The Border Inn is located at the state line of Nevada and Utah, providing the only services along a desolate stretch US Highway 50 between Ely, Nevada and Delta, Utah, a distance of 153 miles.  For many years when the Border Inn first opened, it survived during the long winter months on the business of sheepherders, coming in from sheep camp to buy staples such as milk and eggs, take a hot shower, eat a hearty meal, and catch up on local goings on.  Owner Denys Koyle decided to host this gathering as a “thank you” to the folks who supported her during the early, lean times and over the years it has grown into a full weekend of programming with hundreds of participants.

Events begin at 5 p.m. on Friday with a Sheepherder Appreciation Dinner that is open to members of the West Desert Sheepherding Industry, followed by a public open mike program, during which sheepherders can share their best stories.  Saturday’s events are open to the public and commence with a sourdough pancake breakfast and screening of “Operation Haylift,” which tells the story of the harsh winter of 1948-49 during which the U.S. Airforce dropped 525 tons of alfalfa to feed millions of snow stranded sheep and cattle in the West Desert. An afternoon concert beginning at 2:30 will feature Mary Kaye Knaphus, an award winning singer/songwriter with deep Western roots.  Events will culminate with a traditional Basque dinner at 5 pm followed by dancing to the music of the Silver Sage Family Band.  To make reservations for the dinner, please call Denys or Gary at the Border Inn, 775-234-7300, $25 per plate.

The Border Inn is partnering with the Great Basin National Heritage Area Partnership to present this event.  The Musical program has been funded, in part, by the Nevada Arts Council, a state agency, and the National Endowment for the Arts, a federal agency.

For more information about the Great Basin National Heritage Area and the Great Basin Heritage Area Partnership, please contact Brandi Roberts at 775-234-7171 or broberts@greatbasinheritage.org.