Santa Clarita Cowboy Festival Celebrating Our Western Past
Santa Clarita’s rich Western heritage takes center stage each year at the Cowboy Festival in Old Town Newhall. This year marks the 25th anniversary of the event, and looking back, some residents may wonder what inspired this festival, which attracts more than 10,000 visitors each year.
More than two decades ago, City leaders were inspired by the National Cowboy Poetry Gathering that takes place in Elko, Nevada. They saw an opportunity to create a unique celebration of Santa Clarita’s own Western history, which includes everything from art and music, to film and television classics featuring Gene Autry and John Ford. In 1994, the Santa Clarita Cowboy Festival made its debut, honoring the authentic Old West through music, poetry, cowboy gear, food and storytelling in a setting that was unique to the area – the Wild West atmosphere at Melody Ranch Motion Picture Studio – and the rest is history!
Although some of the elements of the event have changed and evolved over the years, the annual Santa Clarita Cowboy Festival has always delivered a one-of-a-kind, multi-day lineup of authentic music, food, entertainment and activities for Western enthusiasts of all ages.
This year’s Santa Clarita Cowboy Festival is guaranteed to delight attendees once again. Due to filming taking place at Melody Ranch Motion Picture Studio, the former site of the event, the Cowboy Festival has set up camp in Historic Old Town Newhall for the past four years. Show-stopping performances by the best musical acts in Western, Bluegrass, Americana and Spoken Word genres will be held at the Canyon Theater Guild and The MAIN, two exciting concert venues along Main Street in Newhall.
Then the Cowboy Festival comes to life on Saturday, April 21 (10:00 a.m. to 7:00 p.m.) and Sunday, April 22 (10:00 a.m. – 6:00 p.m.) with the sights, sounds and swagger of Cowboy life at William S. Hart Park Event Area. Attendees will be treated to what life was like on the American Frontier as performers serenade, chefs serve up BBQ treats and vendors offer one-of-a-kind gear and goods celebrating our Western past with the flair of the present.
As the Santa Clarita Cowboy Festival continues to grow in popularity, several regional venues and community partners are working with the City to offer four days chock full of events and entertainment. The fun begins with Cowboy events on Thursday, April 19 in Old Town Newhall, including the wildly popular SENSES Cowboy Kickoff block party on Main Street. The fun continues through the Cowboy Festival weekend on April 21 and 22. General admission to the main festival at Hart Park is FREE for all attendees this year, while special performances at The MAIN, Canyon Theatre Guild and other venues are ticketed. With so many exciting additions, one thing’s for sure: this year’s Cowboy Festival is sure to be the best yet!
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