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SCVNews.com | Opinion/Commentary: Cowboy Festival Returns to Melody Ranch | 04-01-2013
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Message from Mayor Bob Kellar
| Monday, Apr 1, 2013

bobkellar2012Inspired by the National Cowboy Poetry Gathering in Elko, Nev., Santa Clarita decided to try its hand at creating a local, Western event that combined the best in authentic cowboy entertainment, art, culture and history.  The result is the city of Santa Clarita’s award-winning Cowboy Festival – and 2013 marks the event’s 20th anniversary.

The Santa Clarita Cowboy Festival made its debut in 1994, immediately following the devastating Northridge earthquake.  Santa Clarita was the third worst-hit city in the quake, and the original venue for the festival – the auditorium at Hart High School – was too damaged to host the event.

Undeterred, the city partnered with the Melody Ranch Motion Picture Studio to host the event at this tremendous venue, and the rest is history.

The Cowboy Festival found its home at Melody Ranch, and today, the Santa Clarita Cowboy Festival continues to honor the authentic Old West through music, poetry, cowboy gear, food and storytelling in a setting that is one of Santa Clarita’s greatest treasures.

cowboyfestival2013logoAlthough elements of the Cowboy Festival have changed over the years – including its name; it used to be the Cowboy Poetry and Music Festival – Santa Clarita’s Cowboy Festival continues to offer festival-goers a one-of-a-kind, multi-day lineup of music, food, entertainment and activities for Western enthusiasts of all ages.

You don’t have to be a cowboy or cowgirl to enjoy the Festival.  Movie buffs love having access to Melody Ranch, which is open to the public only during the city’s Cowboy Festival.

Wooden sidewalks, surrounded by giant oak trees, and a Western town with old-fashioned storefronts offer an ambience that is distinctly Melody Ranch.

The Oscar-winning “Django Unchained” was filmed in part at Melody Ranch, along with hundreds of other movies, television shows, videos and commercials.   A small museum on the property (free entrance during Cowboy Festival weekend) showcases a variety of memorabilia from various film projects at the ranch over the last 50 years.

The Cowboy Festival continues to grow in popularity, and several regional venues and community partners are working with the city to offer four days of events and entertainment to ensure the 20th annual event is the best yet.

This year, the city of Santa Clarita, together with the festival’s gracious hosts, the Veluzat family, will once again open the doors of the Melody Ranch Motion Picture Studio on Saturday, April 20, and Sunday, April 21.  I encourage you to attend the festival and enjoy one of Santa Clarita’s best events.

 

For tickets and information, visit www.cowboyfestival.org. Bob Kellar is mayor of the city of Santa Clarita.

 

 

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