Western festival attracts large number of visitors for a wild time.
The City of Santa Clarita may be putting away its chaps and saddles, but the cowpokes at City Hall are happy with the turnout at this weekend’s Cowboy Festival, held Saturday and Sunday at Melody Ranch.
“We had wonderful weather and a phenomenal turnout,” said city spokeswoman Gail Ortiz. “About 60 percent of our attendees are from out of the area, which makes this a terrific tourist event for the Santa Clarita Valley.”
The festival’s main event was a two-day celebration of Western music and poetry at the ranch, the main street featuring trick ropers, blacksmiths and strolling musicians. Around every corner, there were activities, from giant rocking horses for the little ones to a roping machine where they could try their skills at lassoing a mechanical calf.
The food court, where hands-down favorites biscuits and gravy and peach cobbler were a hit, was packed all day Saturday and Sunday, partly because of the lineup of Western performers that included Waddie Mitchell, The Quebe Sisters Band, Belinda Gail and Curly Musgrove.
“Partner” events sponsored by local organizations were held before and during festival weekend, including a chuckwagon dinner show for the SCV Historical Society, a concert at Rancho Camulos by Don Edwards and two events for Friends of Hart Park, a salon concert featuring The Sons of the San Joaquin and Art at Hart, where artists spent exactly one hour creating an art piece that was auctioned off to raise money for the museum.
New events for the festival included autograph sessions with Western television and movie personalities at the ranch that the crowd seemed to enjoy.
Ortiz said that the stars involved in the festival, including those honored with bronze saddles in the Walk of Western Stars and feted at a gala dinner Friday night, seemed happy to mingle with their fans.
“They told some great stories that you can only hear in a setting like this,” she said.