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19th Cowboy Festival comes to conclusion

Posted: April 22, 2012 10:06 p.m.
Updated: April 22, 2012 10:06 p.m.

Well, pardner, the 19th Santa Clarita Cowboy Festival is a wrap.

The annual festival that's helped put the Santa Clarita Valley on the state map these past two decades has ended on a high note, said Phil Lantis, arts and events administrator for the city of Santa Clarita.

"Traditionally, we get between 9 (thousand) and 10,000 people attending, and it definitely wasn't lighter than that," he told The Signal on Sunday night.

"It was a great festival. It was amazing," he said. "Even though we had a little heat on Saturday, everyone had a good time."

A couple of people received special attention because of the high temperatures out at the Melody Ranch.

"A few people needed a little assistance," Lantis said. "We had to make sure they stayed hydrated."

Actual attendance figures will be announced Wednesday when all the numbers are tallied, he said.

Much of the festival's success hinged on the scores of volunteers, said volunteer head Susana Coronel.

At least 250 adult volunteers and an "energetic" army of 54 teen volunteers, proudly sporting their turquoise-colored T-shirts, made sure all festival events ran smoothly, she said.

"We had a great turnout of volunteers," Coronel said Sunday night.

Teen volunteers worked hard, she said, as "food runners" taking orders from food vendors who were unable to leave their posts.

One volunteer couple made the Cowboy Festival extra special when they decided to renew their wedding vows at the festival on their 40th anniversary.

Pioneer Cowboy Festival volunteers Doug and Judy Penman, of the Santa Clarita Valley, who have helped out at every Cowboy Festival since it began, took time during their volunteer breaks Sunday to exchange wedding vows in the California Music Hall in front of about 25 fellow volunteers, Coronel said.

"They wore their volunteer T-shirts. They had matching bouquet and boutonnieres, but they wore their volunteer T-shirts," she said.

Doug Penman, who helps out where he can, and Judy Penman, who entertains festival patrons shuttled from the parking lot to the ranch, set a precedent Sunday with their vows and their documented dedication.

"It's the first time it ever happened that I know of," Coronel said.




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