For the past quarter-century in April, the city of Santa Clarita has attracted visitors from around the country to experience a slice of our rich western heritage. This year, the 26th Annual Santa Clarita Cowboy Festival, presented by California Resources Corporation, will once again serve as a destination for those wanting to experience life in the wild, Wild West.
On April 13-14, I invite you to bring your family down to William S. Hart Park in Old Town Newhall for a weekend full of fun. Admission to the Santa Clarita Cowboy Festival is free all weekend, meaning you have full access to a wide variety of family friendly activities, music, history and much more.
As you walk through the main entrance into William S. Hart Park, you will immediately see one of five music and performance stages. These stages will play host to a roster of stellar shows. Throughout the park, a full schedule of musicians and entertainers will treat audiences to the best in bluegrass, country and Americana music, as well as magic, trick-roping and multicultural entertainment.
While you and your family make your way through the park from stage to stage, you will also come across great opportunities to learn more about life in the west generations ago. Visit living history exhibits and hear stories from Native American experts, cowboys, gunslingers and blacksmiths as they set up camp, tend to their horses, fashion tools and prepare for their next adventure.
For those who want a more hands-on experience, there are a number of activities that allow you to test your grit and see if you have what it takes to be a true cowboy or cowgirl. From riding a mechanical bull to learning how to throw knives and successfully loose an arrow to hit the bullseye, you will love the friendly competition you and your family members can have all weekend.
Before you head home for the day, you want to be sure to unwind with a stroll through Old Town Newhall. As you make your way along Main Street, look down and admire the more than 80 legends immortalized in the bronze and terrazzo of the Walk of Western Stars. Take a picture with your favorite star and see the three new inductees — James Drury, Robert Fuller and Dan White.
While you are there, stop into any of the stores to find unique gifts and items for your home. You can also visit the restaurants in Old Town Newhall if you are looking for lunch, dinner or a snack to get you through the afternoon. Don’t forget — you’ll also find a wide variety of food options, including Cowboy Peach Cobbler, barbecue, corn on the cob and more just inside the main entrance of the Cowboy Festival. You can learn more about all the Cowboy Festival has to offer by visiting our website at cowboyfestival.org.
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.