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Laurene Weste: Cowboy Festival rides again

Live from City Hall

Posted: April 16, 2009 9:24 p.m.
Updated: April 17, 2009 4:55 a.m.
The city of Santa Clarita Cowboy Festival is an exciting community event ingrained in Santa Clarita tradition. Year after year cowboy enthusiasts and city slickers from across the country make the trek to Melody Ranch Motion Picture Studio — the picturesque backdrop that allows guests to step back to a simpler time of chaps, saddles and old-time saloons.

This year on Saturday, April 25 and Sunday, April 26, you can expect to experience classic Cowboy Festival favorites like unforgettable peach cobbler and chuckwagon cooking, trick ropers, blacksmiths and ladies and gents dressed in western garb.
Spectacular new attractions exclusively added to the 2009 Cowboy Festival include a few acts you might not immediately associate with the cowboy genre — but were very much a part of the real old West.

A number of Native American performers have been added to the festival lineup. The Eagle Spirit Dancers will make their debut appearance at the festival, showcasing authentic culture through song, dance and story from the Northwest, Southwest and Great Plains tribes of North America. Bill Neal will play plains-style cedar and river cane flutes from the Lakota, Kiowa, Comanche, Choctaw and Cherokee Nations.

Traditional cultural entertainment elements were a large part of the Old West and will also be included at the Cowboy Festival. Watch colorful and exciting Ballet Folklorico, Mariachi Alma de Mexico and the Tongva Dancers celebrate the songs, dances, rituals and ceremonies of the indigenous and Hispanic people of the Los Angeles basin.

One of the most anticipated additions to the 2009 Cowboy Festival is the New Buffalo Soldiers, a diverse group of men who recreate the lives of the historic military company comprised of former slaves, free men and black Civil War soldiers. The New Buffalo Soldiers’ story remains one of unparalleled courage and patriotism and is an unforgettable chapter in America’s history. The city is thrilled to host this esteemed group at the 2009 Santa Clarita Cowboy Festival.

In addition to these new, culturally diverse Cowboy Festival attractions, attendees can enjoy their favorite Festival pastimes. A wide array of swinging western musical acts and lively cowboy poets, mercantile row’s authentic cowboy goods and memorabilia, saloon entertainment and more are back once again.

Expanded children’s activities have also been added and kids will enjoy Sky Shivers’ “Edutainment” area and living history exhibits where little cowboys and girls can pan for gold, learn how to make a lasso and more. A Buckaroo Bookshop, which features titles for all ages and author readings and signings, is also a new, kid-friendly addition to the Cowboy Festival.

Tickets to the festival weekend at Melody Ranch Motion Picture Studio will be available at the shuttle site to the ranch at 13th Street and Railroad Avenue. 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 with family and friends.  

For more information, call 661-286-4021 or visit

Laurene Weste is a Santa Clarita councilwoman. Her column reflects her own views and not necessarily those of The Signal. “Live from City Hall” is a column provided to The Signal by the city of Santa Clarita.


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