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Today in
S.C.V. History
May 18
1978 - Concert scene for "KISS Meets the Phantom of the Park" filmed at Magic Mountain [story]

| Sunday, Apr 22, 2018
Cowboy crooner Don Edwards (right) gets a look at his new William S. Hart branding iron, fabricated by blacksmith Brian Jones (left).

Veterans of the Santa Clarita Cowboy Festival stage were honored Saturday night as the city celebrated the festival’s silver anniversary at William S. Hart Park in Newhall.

Highlight of the evening was the presentation of branding irons bearing Hart’s monogram to eight performers, some of whom have entertained local crowds almost since the beginning of the festival in 1994. The branding irons were fabricated for the occasion by Brian Jones, a blacksmith from Calico, and presented by Mayor Laurene Weste on behalf of the Friends of Hart Park. The criteria was that each had performed more than once in the Hart Mansion for the benefit of the park and museum.

On hand to receive the awards were singers Don Edwards, Lon Hannah of the Sons of the San Joaquin, Belinda Gail, Dave Stamey, R.W. Hampton, Jon Chandler and Wylie Gustafson (known outside of the cowboy music genre for the “Yahoooo” of the search engine’s TV commercial). The eighth Hart brand went to Wyatt Earp, great-grandnephew of the famous lawman, who was a friend of Bill Hart. The younger Earp portrays his namesake ancestor in a one-man play written by his wife, Terry.

Emceed by Ed Masterson with entertainment by rising cowboy music stars Kristyn Harris and Mikki Daniel, the evening included a retrospective on all past recipients of the Newhall Walk of Western Stars award, which was not given out this year.

The brainchild of former City Manager Ken Pulskamp, the Santa Clarita Cowboy Festival was originally scheduled for the Hart High Auditorium. But just then, the 1994 Northridge Earthquake put a hitch in the gitalong. The Veluzat family stepped in, offering up the historic Melody Ranch Motion Picture Studio in Placerita Canyon, and the festival was off and running. In 2015, with Melody Ranch under exclusive contract for HBO’s “Westworld,” the festival switched to another historic Western venue, the home of cowboy actor William S. Hart.

The 25th annual Santa Clarita Cowboy Festival continues today with performances starting at 10:45 a.m. The lineup includes a mixture of “locals” and national headliners (and locals who are national headliners). For the complete schedule, visit CowboyFestival.org.

Admission is free. Park at 13th Street and take the shuttle.

“Come for the cobbler, stay for the music.”


Longtime Cowboy Festival performers with Mayor and Council members Laurene Weste, Marsha McLean and Bill Miranda.

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  1. Zach says:

    Why was this event NEVER mentioned in the schedule of events? Don Edwards– a personal friend– told me last summer that the Santa Clarita Cowboy Festival was his favorite event all year, yet there was zero mention of his appearance. Now I’ve missed seeing him…

    • SCVNews.com says:

      The 25th anniversary gala was in the schedule events, and we published a separate story on it both Friday and the previous Friday to make sure nobody missed it. Individual honorees were not necessary named in the event listing because you never know who’s going to show up to receive an award.

      • Zach says:

        People are much more likely to attend when they have an idea who the honorees are, even “subject to availability”. And less likely to attend when they have zero idea…

  2. Cheryl Dellepiane says:

    What a delightful event! The video of film clips was entertaining and enjoyable.

  3. Doreen Johnson says:

    this was our third year of attending and we had a great time looking forward to next year already we start talking about it right afterwards what we’re going to Wales who we want to see what we hope will be there truly of fun with him thank you so much everybody works so hard what is the VIP event open to the public lots of hard work goes into it and it is most appreciated . We met Kristyn at La Quinta both mornings of the weekend and enjoyed her concert at the park once again thanks so much and we will be looking forward to hearing from you after the holidays Doreen

  4. Dan says:

    The whole festival was excellent. This year was the first time I attended and can kick myself for not doing so prior to this. There are several stages of musicians playing at any one time and the event was completely free except for food, shopping and a few concerts held at the Main Street theater. There was a civil war reenactment, displays from early California cowboy days including a camp complete with chuck wagon. Parking was good…off-site with very frequent shuttles. Congratulations to those responsible for putting on this great event!

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