When the Western folk ride into town for the annual Cowboy Festival next weekend, one of the first stops they'll make is for grub, at a place steeped in history and darn fine cooking.
The Santa Clarita Valley Historical Society will host the fifth annual Chuckwagon Dinner Show at 6 p.m. Thursday, April 22 , featuring award-winning authentic prairie cooks Manflo Ranch and an unforgettable performance by The Sons and Brothers. The event is a fundraiser for the Society and will help them with preservation and outreach efforts to promote local history.
The chuckwagons will circle and performers will play at the historic Saugus Train Station in the Heritage Junction portion of William S. Hart Park in Newhall.
Manflo Ranch is a consistent winner at chuckwagon competitions, taking top honors as Best Ranch Wagon for the last four years at Festival of the West. Ranch owners Bryan and Karen Jones are both skilled around the campfire and good at sharing Western lore and prairie "kitchen" techniques. They've also won first place awards for their meat and flapjacks and second place honors for beans and dessert at the Festival of the West.
Working with them will be Randy Hoskins, of 2R Ranch, an award-winner himself for his preparation of meat and beans at the Festival.
On special display will be the working chuckwagon previously owned by Montie Montana, the legendary showman who thrilled audiences as a rodeo trick rider, actor, stuntman and cowboy. Western enthusiasts Charles and Susan White of White Sky Ranch have restored the wagon and will be there to answer questions.
Sand Canyon's own Joe Herrington will open the show with his unique, homespun cowboy poetry before the Sons and Brothers take over the dock of the century-old Saugus train station. Their music has been described as western/gospel/swing/acoustic/bluegrass and country-rock, but the thread most recognizable is the excitement felt by the band members as they share their musical talents with the audience.
Their playlist is varied, but each performance features a dynamic contrast of songs and sounds ranging from stirring ballads and powerful gospel numbers to fire breathing instrumentals, poignant stories of family life, mountains, range and the American West.
Tickets are $40 per person. To buy tickets, call (661) 286-4021. For festival information, go to www.cowboyfestival.org .