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Marsha McLean: Cowboy Festival rides into town

Live from City Hall

Posted: April 14, 2012 1:55 a.m.
Updated: April 14, 2012 1:55 a.m.

For the 19th consecutive year, residents are invited to take a step back in time and enjoy an authentic Western experience with world-class entertainment and activities at the city of Santa Clarita’s Cowboy Festival. 

This year’s event takes place April 19 through April 22 with several events hosted throughout the community leading up to the festival weekend at Melody Ranch  Motion Picture Studio.

For those looking to get in the cowboy spirit early, residents can enjoy an interactive evening with Academy Award-winning film editor Joel Cox at the Hasley Hall Theatre at College of the Canyons on April 14 at 7 p.m. Cox is best known for his more than 30 collaborations with Clint Eastwood and editing of Western films such as, “The Wild Bunch,” “Pale Rider” and “The Outlaw Josey Wales.” Tickets are $25 per person and include a wine reception preceding the event.

On Thursday, cowboy festivities continue in Old Town Newhall as SENSES hosts a Wild Wild West event from 7-11 p.m. on Main Street. The Western-themed block party will feature live country music, line dancing, food trucks and the 7:30 p.m. unveiling of two plaques as part of the Walk of Western Stars.

Enjoy exclusive shopping and an intimate Western-style dinner under the stars at the Melody Ranch Movie Night on Friday at 7 p.m. Experience a once-in-a-lifetime viewing of the classic 1957 film  “3:10 to Yuma” on the street of the ranch. Tickets are $60 per person and include dinner, movie and a commemorative gift. 

The Cowboy Festival continues at Melody Ranch Motion Picture Studio on April 21 and 22 as visitors enjoy the sights and sounds of the festival on a live, working cowboy movie set. Guests will enjoy festival favorites including a musical lineup of talent, unforgettable peach cobbler, trick ropers, activities for kids, blacksmiths and ladies and gents dressed in Western gear.

Visit one of four stages at the Cowboy Festival to experience live performances from some of the world’s best cowboy poets and musicians.

Festival entertainment goes beyond musical talent to include magician Pop Haydn, gun spinner Joey Dillon and trick ropers David Thornbury, John Hustead and Jim Townsley. In addition, the festival showcases multicultural entertainment including North American Indian performances by Wild Horse Singers & Dancers, as well as flutist Carlos Reynosa, and singer Tracy Lee Nelson.

Free all-day activities for kids are also on the bill for the Cowboy Festival. Visit the Pioneer Living exhibit and pan for gold, spin wool and relive the old days like children of the early West. Stop by Biskit Saddle Arts station and learn about leatherworking or let your children hear authors as they read from their award-winning children’s books during Buckaroo Story Time.

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. 

For more information about the 2012 Cowboy Festival, including additional events, parking details, maps and tickets, call 661-250-3735 or visit


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