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New attractions unveiled for Cowboy Fest

Posted: March 5, 2009 6:03 p.m.
Updated: March 5, 2009 3:04 p.m.

The Cowboy Festival has won over even the most skeptical city slicker since it began calling Santa Clarita home 16 years ago. From art, music and movie enthusiasts to pint-sized buckaroos, seasoned history buffs and good old-fashioned western folks, the 2009 Cowboy Festival is sure to rope in even more lifelong fans with new attractions set to debut throughout the Festival from Wednesday, April 22 through Sunday, April 26.

Folks who've gotten wind of the 2009 Cowboy Festival's talent lineup have surely heard about the concert by Grammy award-winning Riders in the Sky. Music fans can saddle up to a performance by one of the most popular cowboy-country bands this side of the Mississippi, held at the College of the Canyons Performing Arts Center on Wednesday, April 22.

To purchase tickets for this inaugural show that kicks off the Cowboy Festival with a bang, call the PAC box office at (661) 362-5304.

A Day at the Autry is set for Thursday, April 23 for history buffs who long for the days when life's pace was a little bit slower. Hop on the city's coach and join fellow wranglers for a day trip to the West Coast's premier Western History Museum for tours, lunch and a showing of Republic Pictures' "Mexicali Rose."

If pining for days gone by isn't quite your idea of a good time, the 2009 Cowboy Festival's got you covered. The weekend festivities at Melody Ranch on Saturday, April 25 and Sunday, April 26 are perfect for city slickers looking to get a behind-the-scenes glimpse of the working motion picture studio where HBO's "Deadwood," "The Magnificent Seven" and, yes, many vintage western classics, were shot. Mosey on over to Melody Ranch, sit back and relax while watching "The Virginian" on the very street where it was filmed.

Behind-the-Scenes Tour packages are also available for those wishing for a closer look at what it's like to film at Melody Ranch.

To peek at the Old West from eyes other than the traditional cowboy, the 2009 Cowboy Festival's new Heritage Stage at Melody Ranch will feature culturally rich Hispanic and Native American song and dance. The Band of the California Battalion will also showcase an accurate portrayal of a battalion or brigade level band of the Union Army during the Civil War.

Prospective cowpokes out there pondering what to do with the kids throughout the event weekend can rest assured. The official 2009 Cowboy Festival weekend held at Melody Ranch on Saturday, April 25 and Sunday, April 26, will offer plenty to keep miniature ranch hands busy. Tiny Cowboys and girls can stop by the spankin' new Buckaroo Book Shop and browse books for the whole family, listen to readings and meet authors in person as they read their own books aloud during Buckaroo Story Time.

The new Pioneer Living exhibit shows kids how to pan for gold, spin wool and re-live the old days of the Early West -- perfect for spirited little mustangs and fillies who can't quite sit still during story time.

These debut attractions will be featured alongside longtime Cowboy Festival favorites. Rest assured -- authentic cowboy poetry and music, savory chuckwagon cooking and that award-winning peach cobbler are here to stay.

Tickets for the 2009 Cowboy Festival are on sale at or by phone at (661) 284- 1410.

Festival patrons are not permitted to park their horses, coaches or shiny caravans at Melody Ranch, but a shuttle is provided for a relaxing ride to the ranch.

For more information on the 2009 Cowboy Festival attractions, parking, maps, tickets and more, call (661) 286-4021 or visit


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