As families and friends walked through the gates of William S. Hart Park Saturday afternoon, they were welcomed by cowboys playing the fiddle and lassoing guests. Celebrating the 25th Annual Cowboy Festival, guests were transformed back in time to the days of the wild west, where riding a horse was the only way of transportation and eating out of tin cans was the norm. This was the first year where guests were offered free admission, only having to pay for select musical performances. Inside the park, guests were able to talk one-on-one with cowboys about how it was to live back in the 1800’s, try a variety of foods, enjoy beer gardens, as well as listen to a wide range of musical performers. One food that rallies people to the Cowboy Festival is The Rotary Club of Santa Clarita Valley’s famous “Cowboy Cobbler.” It is the club’s third year making the widely known cast iron peach cobblers. “We are a service organization, and our objective is to be of service to our community and this was an opportunity for us to do a fundraise for our club for the purpose of helping someone else with money” explained roatrian Ed Bolden. With nearly 50 rotarians volunteering their time, they agreed that it was hard work, but very enjoyable. In addition to the food, many guests came out to listen to the music, and enjoy the western atmosphere. “Families and friends, the music, the atmosphere” were festival attendee Paulette Tcherkassky’s favorite part of the festival. “A lot of these performers and friends who have come to see the event are like family. It’s like a reunion of friends.” Tcherkassky’s husband used to be a performer when the event was still held at Melody Ranch. “We miss it (Melody Ranch) but the cool grass and the shady trees is really nice” said Tcherkassky. Guests were also able to watch as Civil War reenactors walked through the festival, as well as try their hand at throwing knives and tomahawks. The family-friendly event also had different stations for children, where they had the chance to pan for gold, watch blacksmiths forge horseshoes into shape before getting their names impressed on them, and get the chance to lasso a metal cow. The Cowboy Festival will also be held tomorrow, from 10am to 6pm.