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Charge into Memorial Day: Holiday fun, close by

There is plenty to do in the SCV this weekend and, without the drive, you’ll feel better on Tuesday

Posted: May 21, 2009 3:14 p.m.
Updated: May 22, 2009 6:00 a.m.

Hurricane Harbor opens for the season on Saturday, May 23, 2009.

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For those of you holding down the fort this long Memorial Day weekend and staying in the SCV, there is a whole lot more going on than you might think. Shiiishh. Keep it on the downlow and let the other folks make their exhausting drives.

Right here locally we have holiday ceremonies, concerts, new thrill rides and water-related fun. And these can be combined with nature excursions, train rides and even a trip back in time, as you watch knights get all Medieval on each other.

Mix and match your activities and plan them around your barbecuing and work in the yard. Stay close to home. You'll feel so much better on Tuesday.


Memorial Day Tribute

to Veterans
The Memorial Day "Tribute to Veterans" ceremony is held each year at Eternal Valley to honor our veterans. On Monday, May 25, there will be flags, music, dignitaries and food. The main ceremony begins at 10 a.m. and ends at approximately 11 a.m. Afterward there will be a reading of the names on the Memorial Wall, with a bagpiper inviting everyone up the hill to the wall. Eternal Valley Memorial Park, 23287 North Sierra Highway, Newhall, CA 91321. Contact Sharon Ventrice at (661) 755-8629 or e-mail

Summer Meltdown
On Saturday May 23, the students of the William S. Hart Union High School District's "Yes I Can" program will be putting on the 6th annual Summer Meltdown. This concert is created by youth for youth and is open to the general public. For the past five years, the students have fundraised and bonded together as a family to book more than 60 musical performers. The 2009 Summer Meltdown will feature Shwayze, The Dirty Heads, OPM and eight other national and local artists. The Summer Meltdown is an all-day concert experience with many local and national performers. It is an outdoor event. Pack sunscreen and drink plenty of liquids through the entire day. Refreshments and food will be available for purchase. For more information visit Gates open at 12:30 p.m. The Summer Meltdown is held in the Golden Valley Amphitheater, 27051 Robert C. Lee Parkway, Santa Clarita, CA 91350. (See page 4 in this issue of Escape.)

Frazier Mountain Spring Jousting Tournament & Fair
When was the last time you watched a good jousting match? This Saturday, May 23, you have that opportunity when the Frazier Mountain Spring Jousting Tournament & Fair comes to Tait Ranch in Frazier Park.
In addition to the knightly competition, there will be interactive demonstrations, instruction and contests in archery, spear throwing, sack races, sling shot shooting, swordsmanship, shield hitting, falconry and dirt skiing. Storytellers will weave their tales of mystery, magic, mayhem and morals for all the little patrons, while naturalist Joel Robinson will enlighten patrons to the beauty of nature. Food and beverages will be available onsite. Gates open at 11 a.m. on Saturday and the jousting tournament begins 4:30 p.m. Children 5 and under free, ages 6 to 14 $6, and general admission $10. For more information call (661) 245- 4000 or e-mail
Directions: Take the 5 freeway north to the Frazier Park offramp. Travel 2.5 miles west on Frazier Mountain Parkway to the Tait Trout Ranch.

Water fun
Hurricane Harbor opens
This Saturday, May 23, is the opening day of the season at Six Flags Hurricane Harbor. Additionally, Saturday, Sunday and Monday are Santa Clarita Valley Appreciation Days. Every year for opening weekend Six Flags Hurricane Harbor makes 4,000 tickets available to the community. These tickets are available to the public at $10 from the SCV Boys and Girls Club (661) 254-2582. (Regular general admission is $24.99, or $19.99 when you buy tickets online.) Visit for more information.
The park will be open from 11 a.m. to 6 p.m. on Saturday, Sunday and Monday.

Castaic Lake State
Recreation Area

Park gates are open from sunrise to sunset and admission to the park ends an hour before closing. Park activities include boating, world class fishing, hiking, walking, horseback riding, wakeboarding, jet-skiing, camping, picnicking, kayaking, sailing, plus simply enjoying nature and the great outdoors. Hours are 6 a.m. to 7:45 p.m. on Saturday and 5:45 a.m. to 8 p.m. on Sunday and Monday. Call (661) 257-4050 for more information or visit Castaic Lake Recreation Area, 32132 Castaic Lake Drive, Castaic, CA 91384. (Note: There is a U.S. Anglers Choice Team Bass Tournament on Saturday, May 23. Visit for tournament information.)

Pyramid Lake Recreation Area
Pyramid Lake is located next to Interstate 5 (take Smokey Bear exit), 20 miles north of Six Flags Magic Mountain. It offers boating, fishing, jet skiing and picnicking. For additional information call (661) 295-7155 or visit
This lake offers picnic areas (including five unique sites that are accessible only by boat), courtesy docks and a ramp leading from Parking Lot A to an accessible fishing site.

Lake Piru Recreation Area
Lake Piru offers level tree-shaded camping sites, clean restrooms, free hot showers and a fully stocked store to meet most camping and boating needs. Motor homes, trailers and truck campers are welcome. Lake Piru has paved roads, pull-through, tree-shaded sites, and convenient dump stations. A five-lane concrete launch ramp is available at all water levels for fast launching and a convenient boarding float is located on the ramp to assist in easy access to your boat. Water skiing can be enjoyed all year on most of the lake and most inflatable water toys are permitted. Two floating restrooms, aptly named the S.S. Reliefs, help make your day on the lake more pleasurable. Personal watercraft are prohibited. Hours for the day use facilities, gate house, marina, and boat ramps vary by season. For more information call (805) 521-1500 or visit The lake is just north of Highway 126, between Ventura and Highway 5. Take Highway 126 west to the Piru turnoff.

Terminator Salvation: The Ride opens
Saturday, May 23 is the public's first opportunity to experience Terminator Salvation: The Ride at Six Flags Magic Mountain. It is described as "a wooden coaster like no other. Once you experience the full assault of speed, sight and sound, you'll think you just stepped into battle in this year's blockbuster movie, ‘Terminator Salvation.' With five belly-flopping hills and six high speed banked turns, Terminator Salvation: The Ride combines state-of-the-art technology with the classic heart-pounding thrills of a wooden roller coaster. Get ready for an eruption of sights and sounds to drop and turn you straight into the confines of artificially intelligent lethal machines, in one final attempt to save human kind."
You must be at least 48 inches tall to ride this roller coaster. Visit for more information. The park will be open from 10:30 a.m. to 10 p.m. on Saturday, Sunday and Monday.

Mountasia Family Fun Center
Mountasia Family Fun Center is a seven acre entertainment complex offering fun for the entire family. It will be open Friday, May 22 from 12 p.m. to 11 p.m., On Saturday from 10 a.m. to 11 p.m., Sunday from 11 a.m. to 9 p.m. and Monday from 10 a.m. to 9 p.m. Weekend Unlimited Play Specials are available on Memorial Day. Call (661) 253-4386 or visit The facility is located at 21516 golden Triangle Road, Santa Clarita, CA 91350.

Racers Edge
Racer's Edge Indoor Karting will be open on Friday and Saturday, May 22 and 23, from 10 a.m. to midnight and on Sunday and Monday, May 24 and 25, from 10 a.m. to 10 p.m. High speed Karts and two Grand Prix-style tracks, plus an arcade. Racer's Edge is located at 26455 Ruether Ave., Santa Clarita, CA 91350. Visit or call (888) 805-7223.

Hike Elsmere Canyon Loop
On Saturday, May 23, hike the Elsmere Canyon Loop with Henry Schultz. He will talk about the geology and the oil industry in Elsmere Canyon. The walk will be slower-paced than usual as hikers learn about the sites along the way. The hike is 5.5 miles with minimal gain. Meet at the Whitney Canyon parking lot by 8:15 a.m. for an 8:30 a.m. start to the hike. Bring water and a snack. Visit the Community Hiking Club's Web site, for more information.

Placerita Canyon
Nature Center

The Placerita Canyon Natural Area and Nature Center will host a Family Nature Walk on Saturday, May 23 from 11 a.m. to 12 p.m. This is an easy, one-hour walk exploring the area's natural and cultural history. There will also be a free Animal Presentation from 1 p.m. to 2 p.m. See, learn and ask questions about live native animals of the area. Placerita Canyon Natural Area and Nature Center is located at 19152 Placerita Canyon Road, Newhall, CA 91321. The phone number is (661) 259-7721. Visit the Web site at

Vasquez Rocks Natural Area & Nature Center
This 932-acre park is a popular hiking, picnicking and equestrian area. It features unusual rock formations, Tataviam Indian sites and a seasonal stream. The principal plant communities are juniper woodland, chaparral and riparian. There are ranger-led hikes, October through June, on the second through fourth Sundays of the month, from 11 a.m. to 12 p.m. The park is located at 10700 W. Escondido Canyon Road, Agua Dulce, CA 91390. Park hours are currently 8 a.m. to 6 p.m. Call (661) 268-0840 for more information.

Fillmore & Western Railway
Weekend Scenic Excursions Saturdays and Sundays from Fillmore to Santa Paula and back. Depart at noon, return at approximately 3:30 to 4 p.m. Also, on Saturday night, May 23, there will be a Margarita Madness train that departs Fillmore at 6:30 p.m. and returns at 9:30 p.m. Includes Mexican dinner and a margarita. After dinner you can dance to live music. Reservations required. For information and reservations call (800) 733-8724. Visit


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