Today is the day that many put on their cowboy boots and hats and flocked to the Melody Ranch Motion Picture Studio Grounds for the 18th Annual Santa Clarita Cowboy Festival.
With today’s wild winds causing the dust and dirt to swirl in the air, arriving at the Melody Ranch grounds is like taking a step back into the times of the Old West. Men and women stood dressed head to toe in Western apparel while horses roamed and their riders sat proudly atop them, lasso in hand.
Most people know that Santa Clarita has a colorful history, deeply rooted in the Western culture but to experience that history first-hand is an exciting adventure. At first glance, you cannot help but be amazed at the beautiful structures that Melody Ranch houses. But what is even more astonishing is the film grounds’ history because not only does it look authentic, it is. Westerns like The Lone Ranger, Wyatt Earp, Gunsmoke, and Deadwood have been filmed there.
The festival featured four different stages where a plethora of talents took to them to entertain the crowds.
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A personal favorite was Chris Isaacs, cowboy poet and storyteller. The three-time winner of the Acadamy of Western Artists “Will Rogers” Award drew belts of laughter from the crowd as he recited verse after verse of enticing western poetry and stories.
Another crowd favorite was the Band of the California Batallion, an accurate portrayal of a brigade level band of the Union Army during the Civil War.
Sisters Bethany and Paige Shemanski preformed with the Messick Family, a group of Western singers, early in the day.
“My family has lived in Santa Clarita for 50 years,” said Paige Shemanski.
“We get inspired by the other performers, and like to just enjoy the day,” said Bethany.
Of course if you don’t go to experience the old west or see the variety of entertainers, shopping along Melody Ranch’s Main Street is fun in itself. Main Street features shops and merchant booths, some featuring beautifully hand crafted western style jewelry. Also along Main Street are demonstrations of blacksmithing or quilting.
Tickets are still available for the Sunday’s Cowboy Festival. Tickets cost $20 dollars for adults and $10 for children.
For more information on the Cowboy Festival, click here.