One of the nation’s finest western music festivals starts this week in Santa Clarita, Calif. The 21st Annual Santa Clarita Cowboy Festival runs April 24-27. Smaller events take place on Thursday and Friday with the biggest attractions occurring on Saturday and Sunday.
The who’s who of cowboy entertainment will perform during the weekend. The Sons of the San Joaquin, Waddie Mitchell, Don Edwards, Cow Bop, Dave Stamey and Belinda Gail will all be on hand to entertain.
Jack and Joe Hannah of the Sons of the San Joaquin are now in their 80s and winding down their touring careers. This could be one of their last Southern California appearances.
The weekend portion of the festival takes place at the Melody Ranch Motion Picture Studio, formerly owned by Gene Autry. The property still functions as a studio but shuts down each year for this event.
In addition to the best Western music has to offer, Main Street is home to vendors offering home décor, art, jewelry and much more. Street performers such as trick ropers wander down Main Street to entertain the young and old alike. Western authors will be signing their books.
On Sunday, before the main event, Cowboy Church is held down the road at the Master’s College. One or more of the biggest names in the Western genre often performs during the service.
Some would argue the music is not the biggest attraction. What is then? It's the peach cobbler. The lines are longer for the cowboy cobbler made in old-fashioned cast iron pots over a campfire than for anything else at the festival.
For more information, visit CowboyFestival.org