Santa Clarita Cowboy Festival set to return

What’s your favorite part about the annual Santa Clarita Cowboy Festival in Old Town Newhall? Do you enjoy challenging your children to an archery contest or listening to great country and Western music while shopping for authentic cowboy gear? Or maybe you’re looking forward to immersing yourself in the rich western history of Santa Clarita while learning about the life of famed actor William S. Hart. No matter your pleasure, the Cowboy Festival will offer fun for the entire family when it returns to Old Town Newhall this April.

The 26th Annual Santa Clarita Cowboy Festival, presented by California Resources Corporation, rides into William S. Hart Park in Old Town Newhall April 13 and 14. Guests will once again receive free admission to the Cowboy Festival both days, which enables you to participate in a variety of western activities, and listen to concerts throughout the weekend on five different stages.

As soon as you enter Hart Park, be sure to ask the helpful Cowboy Festival volunteers for your free program, which will show you not only a map of the park, but also a schedule of events. Start your day with a cup of Cowboy Coffee from our friends at the Rotary Club of the Santa Clarita Valley, and don’t forget to return for a generous helping of Cowboy Cobbler.

Two new additions that are sure to be crowd pleasers this year are the Cowboy Cook-Off on April 13, and the Chili Cook-off on April 14. These two events will excite your taste buds as barbecue masters and generations of chili chefs battle it out for ultimate food glory.

If competing isn’t your thing and you would rather participate as a taste tester, you can do so by purchasing tasting tickets for just $10 each. This allows you five 2-ounce samples and one powerful vote to help determine the winner of the People’s Choice category.

I encourage you to make a special point of purchasing tasting tickets for the Chili Cook-off on Sunday, April 14, as all proceeds will be donated to Bridge to Home. The money will help Bridge to Home accomplish its mission of providing support services, including an emergency shelter, case management and other resources, to help individuals and families transition out of homelessness in the Santa Clarita Valley.

It’s not just about great music and one-of-a-kind food at the Santa Clarita Cowboy Festival. Take time to explore Santa Clarita’s rich western history with a tour of the William S. Hart Mansion and see the herd of American Bison on your way up! You will also want to learn about the railroad’s contribution to our community in the early days, so stop by Heritage Junction to see the famed Saugus Train Station and explore the numerous historical buildings that have been saved and preserved in our community.

You can learn more about all the Santa Clarita Cowboy Festival has to offer this year by visiting our website at cowboyfestival.org. I look forward to seeing you and your family exploring Hart Park when the Cowboy Festival returns in April.

Ken Striplin is the Santa Clarita City Manager, and can be reached at [email protected] The views expressed in his column are his own and not necessarily those of The Signal

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