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This Labor Day, enjoy ‘staycation’ in Santa Clarita

Live from City Hall

Posted: August 9, 2008 8:10 p.m.
Updated: October 11, 2008 5:02 a.m.
 
Remember the good ol’ days of summer when spending time with family and friends was the ultimate escape? Children filled the streets until after dark playing hide-and-seek, neighbors came together for potluck block parties, and Friday and Saturday nights included the faint whispers and laughter of kids camping in their backyards.

Though the memories seem nostalgic, the concept of vacationing in your own backyard is not as distant as you think.

As the media continues to report, increases in gas prices and decreases in consumer confidence are forcing travelers to stay close to home for summer entertainment. What will this mean for Labor Day weekend, summer’s last big hoorah?

More than likely families and friends will seek out the ideal getaway within driving distance, or using this summer’s buzzword, millions of travelers will enjoy a “staycation.”

Americans have long enjoyed local getaways. Let’s face it, if you have to stay home to get away, there is no better place to do it than right here in the Santa Clarita Valley.

In most cities, residents often feel there is “nothing to do” because it is their home town. In fact, most locals often overlook all their community offers, and we are no different here in the Santa Clarita Valley.

Did you know that more than 3 million people visit our community each year at our theme parks, Six Flags Magic Mountain and Hurricane Harbor? These amazing theme parks are certainly one of Santa Clarita’s biggest attractions.

In addition to world-class rollercoasters and water slides, Santa Clarita offers a phenomenal outdoor living infrastructure. This allows us to enjoy our California sunshine while biking, running, hiking, swimming or spending time with family and friends at one of our well-kept city parks.

Our community also boasts culinary gems, day spas, and a variety of shopping, all of which support escapism at home.

Making a name for itself as a premier event destination, Santa Clarita offers exclusive events for the entire family including several concert series, festivals, and cultural and sporting events.

Summer brings many opportunities to enjoy free concerts in distinctive settings. There is still time to catch one of the city of Santa Clarita Concerts in the Park every Saturday at 7 p.m. at Central Park through Aug. 23.

There are also performances at the Lexus of Valencia Jazz & Blues Concert Series on Town Center Drive outside Hyatt Valencia every Friday evening at 7 p.m. through Sept. 5, or a Rockin’ Summer Nights event at Westfield Valencia Town Center on Tuesday evenings at 7 p.m. through Tuesday.

Fall ushers in more events, including the Santa Clarita Jazz Festival on Sept. 6 at the prestigious Valencia Country Club. Just a few weeks later, enjoy the work of award-winning chalk artists, local and international dance performers, live music, fine arts and crafts, and art activities at the city of Santa Clarita’s Street Art Festival, presented by Lockheed Federal Credit Union, Sept. 27 and 28 in Old Town Newhall.

During Oct. 2-5, indulge your senses and fall crush cravings at the fourth annual Loose Goose Wine Festival, Southern California’s largest wine event, which includes a golf tournament, the famed Golden Goose Gala, and two fantastic days of wine tasting at Bridgeport Park.

In November, the city of Santa Clarita encourages residents and visitors to get outdoors and participate in the annual Santa Clarita Marathon and Health Expo presented by Parkway Motorcars.

Santa Clarita is a relatively new city, but our community holds a great deal of history to discover at low to no cost. William S. Hart Museum, a member of the Natural History Museum of Los Angeles, houses an impressive collection of Western art, and the fabled Heritage Junction sits at the base of the museum.

Just down the street is the Walk of Western Stars in Old Town Newhall, Santa Clarita’s tribute to legends of the silver screen.

A visit to Placerita Canyon includes a stop at the Oak of the Golden Dream, the site of California’s first gold discovery years before Sutter’s Mill. Hiking at the Placerita Canyon Nature Center and Towsley Canyon are also fun things to do with the family.

Bob Kellar is mayor of Santa Clarita. His column reflects his own views, 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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