As you make your way down Main Street in Old Town Newhall, the sight of buffalo soldiers, the smell of old cast iron Dutch ovens cooking peach cobbler and the sound of cowboy boots clacking against the wooden slats of the sidewalks will instantly transport you to the early days of the West. Welcome to the Santa Clarita Cowboy Festival – the best in the West!
We are just a few weeks away from the return of the Cowboy Festival and I know that residents and visitors from around the country are waiting with anticipation to once again explore this landmark Santa Clarita event. With live entertainment, family-friendly activities, living history and much more, the Cowboy Festival enables you to immerse yourself in Santa Clarita’s rich western heritage.
The 2023 Santa Clarita Cowboy Festival will take place on Saturday, April 22, and Sunday, April 23, on Main Street. However, there are two preceding events that are sure to get you in the cowboy spirit.
First, a Wild Wild West Senses Block Party will take over Main Street on Thursday, April 20, from 7 to 10 p.m. Senses events are always a hit with the community and April’s block party will be western-themed to help kick off the Cowboy Festival. Dress in your best cowboy get-up and head to Old Town Newhall for line dancing, mechanical bull-riding, cowboy-inspired food and live music from 33 Thunder, a Santa Clarita Valley band that specializes in a tribute to modern country music.
I would also like to invite you to join me and my fellow City Council members on Friday, April 21, in front of Reyes Winery on Main Street as we unveil the newest addition to the Walk of Western Stars. The Walk of Western Stars celebrates the legends of western film, music and entertainment with bronze stars and terrazzo tiles along Main Street. You can also purchase tickets to a special reception honoring this year’s inductee, which follows the unveiling ceremony and will be held inside Reyes Winery on Main. Stay tuned for more information on the inductee at OldTownNewhall.com.
The Santa Clarita Cowboy Festival itself will be held from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. on both Saturday, April 22, and Sunday, April 23, and general admission is once again free for all attendees. In addition to live performances and entertainment across stages located on Main Street, including inside The Main, there will also be special ticketed concerts at two incredible venues: the Canyon Theatre Guild and the Newhall Family Theatre for the Performing Arts. Performers include some fan favorites from years past, such as the supremely talented Kristyn Harris, as well as some fantastic Cowboy Festival rookies like Rachel Brooke, Buck Ford and Kathryn Legendre, among others. You’ll be able to take in the very best country western, folk and bluegrass performances you’d find anywhere.
The festival is a wonderful family event and everyone will be sure to enjoy shopping for hats, boots and other apparel from rustic vendors, as well as one-of-a-kind crafts, artwork and other unique items for their home. Food and beverages will also be sold, including a Cowboy Festival staple – Dutch oven peach cobbler made by our very own Rotary Club of Santa Clarita Valley. Of course, businesses and restaurants along Main Street will also be open for service.
It is a wonderful feeling to bring back such a beloved community event and I hope you and your family will stop by to experience a slice of Santa Clarita’s cowboy history. All of the details you need about the 2023 Cowboy Festival, including a full list of musical performers, information on parking and other frequently asked questions, can be found by visiting the festival’s official website at CowboyFestival.org.
So, get out your hats and boots, ‘cuz I can’t wait to see you there!
Councilwoman Laurene Weste is a member of the Santa Clarita City Council and can be reached at [email protected].