By Nate Rodriguez
Signal Staff Writer
Would-be cowboys and cowgirls can start to make plans for the city’s 26th annual Cowboy Festival, with Santa Clarita launching an event website next month.
Starting Feb. 5, CowboyFestival.org is set to launch, offering information on performances, schedules and pricing for special events.
For example, along the streets of Old Town Newhall, imprinted in bronze and tile, are the names of historical western entertainment icons who have contributed to the world of western entertainment. And on April 11, the Walk of Western Stars will unveil its 2019 inductees to kick off the festival’s events. The actual festival is taking place April 13-14.
For the sixth year in a row, the weekend of cowboy festivities will be hosted at William S. Hart Park.
The festival was moved from its original home at Melody Ranch Motion Picture Studio in 2014, after the filming schedule at the ranch made it impossible to host the Cowboy Festival. Since its move, however, the festival has proven to be equally successful and was even given more room for activities. Previous years included the incorporation of activities such as archery and mechanical bull riding.
At this time, information regarding attractions for this year’s festival is minimal, but visitors of all ages can expect to see all of the traditionally held attractions, such as history entertainers, food vendors, western merchandise stores and feature performances from returning stars such as Honey County and Kristyn Harris. There also are newcomers set to hit the stage, such as Shannon Rae, 100 Proof and Dirty Cello.
Along with these events, the festival this year will welcome a brand-new cowboy cook-off. The cook-off will take place over both days of the festival, with a barbecue competition on Saturday, April 13, and a chili cook-off on Sunday, April 14.
Tickets are expected to be available next month, and general admission into the festival itself is free. For those hoping to enhance their festival experience, a limited number of VIP tickets are available for a purchase of $100. These allow visitors access into special event areas such as the VIP cantina where food and beverages will be served, a VIP shuttle service to and from the event, and Cowboy Festival merchandise.
The city of Santa Clarita is on the lookout for volunteers to help run the event. Positions include festival greeters, activity helpers, ushers and more. Those interested can contact Volunteer Engagement Program Supervisor Tess Simgen at 661-250-3726.