The 20th Annual Cowboy Festival in Santa Clarita!
By Erin & Melody
On Saturday, April 20 and Sunday April 21 the 20th Annual Cowboy Festival in Santa Clarita, CA took place. What better place to host a cowboy festival than at the famous Melody Ranch Motion Picture Studio? A pretty fitting place if you ask me! The best Western performers were rounded up to entertain and delight everyone. Tall tales and plaintive melodies of the working cowboys could be heard around town, as well as traditional songs and dances of the Hispanic and Native American cultures. You truly could see history come alive with demonstrations of trick roping, blacksmithing, quilting, and an abundance of children’s activities from the cowboy era.
The event was a huge success and attracted the largest attendance of any event in the history of the Festival. It’s also estimated that Saturday’s crowd was the largest the City had ever seen in a single day. Being that I love to “Horse Around,” it would only be fitting for “Horsing Around In LA” to attend the cowboy festival, right? We were provided with two press passes to go out and enjoy the Cowboy Festival. 😉 Enjoy the pictures, and hope to see you all at the next Cowboy Festival next year!
This was the blacksmith’s shop. The two guys at the anvil (front and at right) are blacksmiths. They were very busy all day making custom horse shoes with people’s names hammered into them. They had a lot of tools out and such but they didn’t really do a demonstration or anything unfortunately.
This was inside of a tent that was full of little booths/nooks that featured all things kid oriented from the olden days. This was a gold panning booth were kids could “salt” their tins and pan for gold (fools gold nuggets). The guy with the hat in the top right corner was teaching the kids the proper way to swirl and how gold is the heaviest metal and would sink to the bottom of their pans. He was also telling stories about gold miners and their claims.
When we checked in at the Media Tent Melody was told that she had “HAD to try” Peach Cowboy Cobbler. After strolling through Main street which has been used in what seems like hundreds of TV shows and Movies (literally!! Almost every movie and most TV shows that are westerns have some part of their filming done on the main street there or inside of a building with the main street showing in the background through…
Those giant black pots on the backside are dutch ovens. They have hot coals on top and on bottom to cook the cobbler. They went through a lot of cobbler!!! Also, cowboys made the cobbler! Men in jeans dressed as cowboys cooking pie over an outdoor fire. What more could you want?
These are replica Calvary saddles. They had them on display next to a Morgan horse inside a livery stable. Unfortunately they didn’t have any real info on them.
This adorable young girl is Kristyn Harris. I believe she is 14, and she is an amazing yodeler. She plays guitar and sings old-fashioned songs, her favorite is yodeling. She’s really good. She sang for about 20 minutes and had the stage presence of an experienced performer. Not shy and very personable. The theater she was singing in was packed to the gills for her performance and there were people crammed around every door and window just to see her.
This man is an amazing trick roper. He was out in the street all day roping people and even gave the kids his rope and taught them to twirl a rope.
This was a stage prop of a chuck wagon. Wagon trains and cattle drivers would have one of these, it was a portable kitchen responsible for making all of the food on the journey. This one had all the nick knacks and goodies that would be on a real chuck wagon. The cowboy was there to answer any question you may have had.
Sadly there were only a handful of horses at the entire Festival…. 🙁 They rode down the street and sat mounted at the end of the street answering questions about their horses and letting people pet them. They didn’t do a show or performance.
The man on the Chestnut Arabian was roping random people in the audience. Just before this picture was taken he had roped the lady in pink. She quickly pulled the rope off and laughed about it. They only rode out onto the streets for a bit, as if to just make an appearance.
This guy was playing the role of a vaquero, a paid ranch hand. He let people pet his horse and answered questions about his horse.
This booth was selling these beautifully illustrated kids books that were all horse stories. There were a lot of booths selling things. It could have been very easy to spend a lot of money here!
This very friendly lady was spinning yarn from Al paca’s hair. She was telling stories about what was expected of women in the house during the 1800’s. Most women, especially the poorer houses made their own clothes. Since they couldn’t just go to the store and buy cloth they made their own thread from animal hair. Making clothes and selling them was also a way to make a little extra money. She had a blanket that she made from Al Paca’s hair and it was super soft. Back then they used every part of their animals, nothing went to waste.
There was a banner available for anyone to sign that they were sending over seas to the men and women that are serving. We wrote a few words and signed it. They were selling cold drinks and buttons, all for non-profit and the proceeds went to send care packages to active duty military.
The Melody Ranch Museum is an old screen stage that is filled with old prop memorabilia, which is just off of the Main St.
This army jeep was used in the movie HOT SHOTS PART DEUX and in the tv show MASH. It’s the first thing you see as you walk inside the museum.
These are two brothers, the one in the green T-shirt Roy Stokes owns Coast Silver. They have a store up in Big Bear where they make anything and everything out of silver- Yay for custom orders!! Every single piece is hand made and absolutely gorgeous!! All of the carvings are done free hand, not by any machine. Their hands are covered in the scars to prove it. They started hand carving silver as boys when their father put them to work. (It was my favorite booth!) These guys had the most amazing booth!!! I wish I could buy EVERYTHING they had!!
The iconic bar set was used in several John Wayne films and in the movie Maverick.
That’s all folks! Hope you will come and check out next year’s Cowboy Festival for yourself! 😉
Disclosure: Horsing Around In LA was given two media passes to go out and enjoy the Cowboy Festival in Santa Clarita, CA. All thoughts and opinions are our own. Please ask for permission before using any photography.