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Bob Kellar: Dust off your boots for the Cowboy Festival

Live from City Hall

Posted: April 16, 2010 10:48 p.m.
Updated: April 17, 2010 7:30 a.m.

Santa Clarita’s history is steeped in Western lore and to celebrate this unique heritage, the city is gearing up for the 2010 Cowboy Festival.

Recognized as one of the 101 best Western events by American Cowboy Magazine, the city of Santa Clarita’s Cowboy Festival is a throw back to the dusty days of saloons, wooden sidewalks and spurs. The 2010 event will once again whisk visitors back in time to enjoy the sights, sounds and cuisine of the American West, featuring authentic gear, fantastic live music and some of the best cowboy grub this side of the Pecos.

The Cowboy Festival rides into town from April 22-25 with several events hosted throughout the Santa Clarita Valley leading up to the weekend of the festival at Melody Ranch.  On Thursday, community members can head out to Heritage Junction for the Chuckwagon Dinner Show, complete with authentic chuckwagon cooking demonstrations, a delicious dinner prepared by award-winning Manflo Ranch and live entertainment. Residents can also hop aboard a city bus headed for the Autry National Center for A Day at the Autry featuring a themed tour, catered lunch and a behind-the-scenes glimpse of the Autry Film Vault.

Tickets are also still available for Melody Ranch Movie Night, presented by American Cowboy Magazine and the U.S. Cattlemen’s Association. Enjoy exclusive shopping and an intimate Western-style dinner under the stars on Melody Ranch’s Main Street followed by a viewing of one of the most classic and esteemed western films ever to hit the silver screen: “High Noon.” Tickets to these exclusive events can be purchased at or by calling the city’s Arts and Events Office at (661) 284-1410.

The festival’s main events are set for Saturday and Sunday, when visitors are invited to Santa Clarita’s own Melody Ranch Motion Picture Studio to 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.

Guests can expect to enjoy classic Cowboy Festival favorites like unforgettable peach cobbler and chuckwagon cooking, live music, trick ropers, blacksmiths and ladies and gents dressed in western garb. 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 Don Edwards, the Sons of the San Joaquin and Cow Bop, as well as new acts such as the Quebe Sisters, Cowboy Celtic, The Saddle Cats and much more.

Multicultural acts will liven up Main Street at the Cowboy Festival, with Hispanic performances by the Mariachi Alma de Mexico, Ballet Folklorico and the Rodriguez and Solis Charro Group, as well as Native American performances by the Eagle Spirit Dancers and the Wild Horse Singers and Dancers.

Another Cowboy Festival favorite, making a repeat appearance at the 2010 event, is the New Buffalo Soldiers. Stop by the authentic encampment on Main Street for a glimpse into the lives of the men of Company H, 10th Regiment of United States Cavalry.

Expanded children’s activities are also on the bill for the Cowboy Festival including Sky Shivers’ “Edutainment” area and Living History Exhibits, where cowboys and girls can pan for gold, learn how to make a real rope lasso and more. The Buckaroo Bookshop will also return to the 2010 Festival, offering titles for all ages, author readings and signings and much more.

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 and Railroad. 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. 

Bob Kellar is a Santa Clarita City Councilmember and can be reached at



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