Cowboy Festival Rides Again

Annual event allows visitors to step back into simpler times of saddles, spurs and old-time saloons.

A cowboy and his horse.

A cowboy and his horse.

iStockphoto.com/Joey Boylan

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Santa Clarita, California – The 2010 Cowboy Festival is just around the corner, with a fantastic performer lineup and event schedule set to make this year’s event the best yet. A variety of tickets are currently available for the festival, set against the picturesque backdrop of Melody Ranch Motion Picture Studio.

Festival guests can head on out to the ranch on Saturday, April 24, and Sunday, April 25, to step back into a simpler time of saddles, spurs and old-time saloons. This year’s event will include new attractions and returning favorites, including Dutch oven peach cobbler, trick ropers, authentic gear and a show-stopping musical talent lineup.

Grammy-nominated singer-guitarist Don Edwards will return to the festival this year, as well as Dave Stamey, the Messick Family, Nancy Lee, Sons of the San Joaquin, 11-time festival performer Michael Tcherkassky, world-famous magician Pop (Whit) Haydn, the Lost Canyon Rangers, and Dave Bourne, who featured his infectious saloon piano skills on HBO’s Deadwood.

In addition to these returning favorites, the Cowboy Festival hosts new cowboy musicians and poets set to make their debut on the Melody Ranch stage. Cow Bop – one of the West’s most popular swinging jazz and western bands – is set to perform, as well as The Quebe Sisters, fiddler Dave Rainwater, cowboy swing band The Saddle Cats, banjoist John Reynolds, Rusty Richards, Cowboy Celtic, The Sons and Brothers, Juni Fisher, Brenn Hill and Jon Chandler and the Wichitones.

The 2010 Cowboy Festival also features some of the finest in cowboy poetry. Cowboy poet and humorist Andy Nelson will serve as performer and emcee on Sunday, April 25, while Yvonne Hollenbeck and Pat Richardson showcase their multi-award winning poetry for audiences to enjoy.

Festival entertainment will continue beyond the stage with professional trick ropers Dave Thornbury, Jim Townsley and John Hustead, who will showcase their lasso skills along Main Street throughout the festival weekend.

The 2010 Festival welcomes returning favorites debuted at the 2009 event, including expanded children’s activities. A Youth Poetry Round-Up will entertain younger festival guests, as well as individual Poetry and Trick Roping Workshops, and the return of the acclaimed Buckaroo Bookshop.

Multicultural entertainment will also make its return to the Cowboy Festival. Enjoy North American Indian performances by the Eagle Sprit Dancers, accurate portrayals of Civil War era music by The Band of the California Battalion, and authentic Hispanic cultural performances Mariachi Alma de Mexico and Ballet Folklorico.

Tickets for the 2009 Cowboy Festival are currently available by phone at 661-284- 1410 or on the website. Daily general admission is $20 for adults and $10 for children age 3 to 11. Children under 3 will receive a free one-day admission. A two-day weekend pass is available at $30 for adults and $15 for children 12 and under, and the Friends of the Festival Weekend Package is available for $150 to a limited number of guests looking for an exclusive Melody Ranch Experience.

For more information on the 2010 Santa Clarita Cowboy Festival, including additional attractions, parking details, maps and tickets, call 661-286-4021 or visit the festival's website. For more information on Santa Clarita, visit the city's website.