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Laurene Weste: Cowboy Festival returns to Santa Clarita

Live From City Hall

Posted: April 23, 2011 1:55 a.m.
Updated: April 22, 2011 1:55 a.m.

It’s been 18 years, Santa Clarita. Isn’t it time you experienced what all the fuss is about?

Gear up for one of Santa Clarita’s premier events that takes you back in time to experience the sights, sounds and flavors of the old West.

The City of Santa Clarita’s Cowboy Festival rides into town on Wednesday and takes off on Sunday, May 1, with several events hosted throughout Santa Clarita leading up to the Festival weekend at Melody Ranch Motion Picture Studio.

The Cowboy Festival is not just another rodeo or country music show. It’s a one-of-a-kind event that many Santa Clarita residents forget is in their own backyard.

Recognized as one of the 101 best Western events by American Cowboy Magazine, thousands of spectators from other states and different countries come each year to the Cowboy Festival to throw back to the dusty days of saloons, wooden sidewalks and spurs.

Back by popular demand, the Cowboy Couture fashion show will kick off the 2011 Cowboy Festival on Wednesday with Western designer fashions, vintage cowboy apparel, models and a wine reception at the Repertory East Playhouse. Shop for the latest Western wear before and after the show for a great opportunity to outfit yourself for the Cowboy Festival. For tickets, call (661) 288-0000 or visit

On Thursday, community members can head out to Heritage Junction at William S. Hart Park for a feast for the Western senses. The Chuckwagon Dinner Show is complete with authentic chuckwagon cooking demonstrations, a delicious dinner prepared by award-winning Manflo Ranch and live entertainment.

Residents can also join local historian E.J. Stephens for an SCV film tour and visit locations where dozens of famous movies were filmed, complete with photos of the productions and revealing stories of Santa Clarita’s movie history.
Enjoy exclusive shopping and an intimate Western-style dinner under the stars on Friday at the Melody Ranch Movie Night on Main Street, followed by a viewing of the classic western film Stagecoach. 

The Cowboy Festival wraps up at Santa Clarita’s own Melody Ranch Motion Picture Studio on Saturday and Sunday, May 1, as visitors explore the sights and sounds of the festival on a live working cowboy movie set that is rarely open to the public.

Guests will experience a wide array of swinging western musical acts and lively cowboy poets, mercantile row’s authentic cowboy goods and memorabilia, saloon entertainment and more.

Enjoy classic Cowboy Festival favorites, like unforgettable peach cobbler and chuckwagon cooking, live music, trick ropers, blacksmiths and ladies and gents dressed in western gear. Spectacular new and expanded attractions will round out a weekend chock full of exciting activities.

Step inside one of four stages at the Cowboy Festival to experience fantastic live performances from some of the world’s best cowboy poets and musicians.

This year’s event includes a number of returning favorites, including the Sons of San Joaquin, Don Edwards, Waddie Mitchell, Wylie and the Wild West, Sourdough Slim, Hot Club of Cowtown and many more.

Free all-day activities for kids are also on the bill for the Cowboy Festival. Visit the Pioneer Living exhibit and pan for gold, spin wool, and relive the old days like children of the early West.

 Stop by Biskit Saddle Arts and learn about leatherworking or let your children hear authors as they read from their award-winning children’s books during Buckaroo Story Time.

Step into the Buckaroo Book Shop and browse book titles for the whole family. Whether your passion is Western film, the real West, Western fiction or shopping for great Western toys like trick ropes, plush ponies or puzzles and games, we’ve got it all.

Tickets to the Cowboy Festival weekend at Melody Ranch Motion Picture Studio are available at and will also be available on the day of the event at the shuttle site to the Ranch on 13th Street and Railroad Ave.

With admission prices starting at $10 for kids and $20 for adults, the Santa Clarita Cowboy Festival is a local and affordable way to spend a sunny, wildly entertaining spring weekend celebrating Santa Clarita’s authentic western culture and heritage with family, friends and neighbors. 

To purchase tickets or for more information about the numerous events surrounding the 2011 Santa Clarita Cowboy Festival, visit or call (661) 286-4021.

Councilmember Laurene Weste can be reached at: her column reflects her own views but not necessarily those of The Signal.


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