By Mayor Laurene Weste
The City of Santa Clarita has a proud western heritage that traces back to the first families that settled in the Santa Clarita Valley. Our cowboy culture is evident in all parts of our City, from the protection of thousands of acres open space and miles of trails to the celebration of radio, television and movie icons on the Walk of Western Stars. The past 150 years of innovation mean we no longer drive our wagons through Beale’s Cut, but we still take the time each April to honor the rich western history that makes Santa Clarita the City we all know and love. As we mark a special milestone this year, the City Council invites you to celebrate with us at the 25th Annual Santa Clarita Cowboy Festival, presented by Heritage Sierra Medical Group.
Over the last two and a half decades, residents and visitors have traveled from near and far to take in the sights and sounds of the Cowboy Festival. This year’s festival will once again be held at William S. Hart Park in Newhall and will take place April 19 through April 22. With western music, activities and performances, this festival shows guests the cowboy way of life. One of the most popular aspects of that way of life is the delicious grub you’ll enjoy at the festival, including authentic cowboy peach cobbler, barbecue and other western fare! In addition, you and your family will be able to explore the historic Hart Mansion and Heritage Junction and shop for authentic western crafts and merchandise from vendors.
The Cowboy Festival encompasses much more than just the popular activities at Hart Park. Elementary school students in Santa Clarita will benefit from the culturally enriching Cowboys in the Schools program, which features a Cowboy Festival performer who visits schools and teaches the children how to play western songs on the harmonica. All school-age kids in the City can also participate in the Youth Poetry Roundup Contest, by writing and submitting an original poem for a chance to win prizes, including the opportunity to perform their poem on stage at the festival!
The weekend officially begins on Thursday, April 19, at the SENSES Cowboy Kickoff block party as part of the Thursdays@Newhall series. Come enjoy great music, food, merchandise vendors and more as you two-step the night away!
In honor of the 25th anniversary of the Santa Clarita Cowboy Festival, general admission to the Hart Park event area on April 21 and 22 is FREE. I am also excited to share that the City has partnered with various venues in Old Town Newhall for special ticketed concerts featuring an excellent lineup of performers over the four-day period. The highlight of this year’s festival will no doubt be the 25th Anniversary Gala, which will be held at Hart Hall inside Hart Park on Saturday, April 21, at 8 p.m. Tickets for the gala, ticketed concerts and other experiences are on sale now.
To purchase tickets, visit CowboyFestival.org or call 661-250-3735. I hope you’ll join us for this one-of-a-kind event that is rooted in our rich western heritage.
Mayor Laurene Weste is a member of the Santa Clarita City Council and can be reached at [email protected].