Cowboy culture runs through the veins of the City of Santa Clarita. From William S. Hart Park, to the historical Iron Horse Trailhead, to the dramatic form of Beale’s Cut that is silhouetted against our blue skies, the footprints of those who tread upon “the final frontier” still remain. While we no longer travel by horse and wagons, nor shop at a small, local general store, our rich Western history has shaped who we are as a City today. For that reason, among many others, the Santa Clarita Cowboy Festival is an important part of our past and our future.
For 24 years, friends and family, and vendors and performers, have traveled from near and far to celebrate our rich Western heritage through music, food and activities. Once a year the residents of Santa Clarita dust off their hats and boots and enjoy peach cobbler, Native American teepees, knife throwing and trick roping. It’s a time-honored and cherished Santa Clarita tradition that teaches families about what life used to be like in our valley.
Besides being an opportunity to celebrate our rich Western heritage, the Cowboy Festival also provides a culturally, enriching entertainment opportunity for both residents and visitors. One example is the Cowboys in the Schools program in our elementary schools. Every year a performer will visit and teach the kids how to play Western songs. There is also a Youth Poetry Roundup Contest available for all school age kids. The students can write and submit a poem for a chance to win prizes, or even perform their poem on stage at the festival!
Additionally, both the Santa Clarita Valley Historical Society and Friends of Hart Park have programming at the festival and are able to get donations and sales for merchandise. The Historical Society is keeping history alive through their History Bus Tour taking place during the festival. Prayer Angels for the Military (PAM) always have a booth where they take donations to provide care packages to our hard serving military personnel who are deployed. One of their primary goals is to make sure that none of our military is forgotten at mail call. Monetary donations help PAM expand their impact and stay in business.
Our Cowboy Festival is also a tradition that benefits our community, local businesses and economy. When the Santa Clarita Cowboy Festival gallops into town, we incorporate our theatre and music venues into the festival. Santa Clarita companies are utilized for staging, tenting and equipment rental. Our restaurants are used for food and beverage needs for performers, staff and VIPs. Each year, close to 10,000 visitors attend the event. This is a great benefit to all our local businesses and our economy. People enjoy our restaurants and hotels because our community is a fun place to tour, visit and shop. Where else can you go to a festival and have hundreds of miles of bicycle trails and thousands of acres of beautiful open space to look at. You can also shop for tons of unusual western merchandise.
We give many thanks to our business community, who sponsors our festival. This year our title sponsor is Heritage Sierra Medical Group who has been so gracious in their support.
This event is one of many the city, along with the Friends of Hart Park and the SCV Historical Society, look forward to hosting annually. The 2017 Santa Clarita Cowboy Festival is a great family event and has a positive impact on our culture and economic bottom line for all to enjoy. Please join us for this amazing fun, family, culturally rich Western event, and be sure to wear your historic Western wear too.
To purchase tickets, visit CowboyFestival.org or call 661-250-3735.
In next week’s City Column, Councilmember Bob Kellar will share more about the amazing lineup for this year’s Cowboy Festival. I will see you there.
Mayor Pro Tem Laurene Weste is a member of the Santa Clarita City Council and can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.