Cowboy Festival

The 2009 Cowboy Festival will showcase events kicking up all over Santa Clarita – even before the festival’s arrival. The ancillary, off-site attractions begin Wednesday, April 22, and continue through Saturday, April 25.

The Riders in the Sky Concert at the College of the Canyons Performing Arts Center will kick off the Cowboy Festival at 7:30 p.m. Wednesday, April 22. The Grammy Award-winning artists, famously featured in Disney’s “Toy Story 2”, are one of the most popular cowboy-country bands today. Tickets to view the Concert begin at $25 and are available for purchase at the Performing Arts Center Box Office at 661-362-5304 or at

Thursday, April 23, features two events highlighting Santa Clarita’s rich Western heritage. A Day at the Autry, a new Cowboy Festival attraction, will feature a tour, lunch and screening at the Autry National Center in Los Angeles. Guests will depart for the center at 10 a.m. and return at 3 p.m. Tickets are $40 and include transportation.

A Chuckwagon Dinner Show is also scheduled for April 23 with chuckwagon cooking, entertainment, prairie lore and music by Sourdough Slim. The Dinner Show will begin at 6 p.m. at William S. Hart Park’s Heritage Junction. Tickets are $40 and benefit the Santa Clarita Valley Historical Society.

Another new, highly anticipated event is the Melody Ranch Movie Night, scheduled to start at 7 p.m. Friday, April 24, at the Melody Ranch Motion Picture Studio. Guests will enjoy a Western-style dinner under the stars on Main Street while viewing The Virginian on the same street where it was filmed. Seating is limited and tickets are $55.

Those wishing to enjoy the history, myth and romance of old California will delight in the Californio Fiesta de Rancho Camulos with lunch, tours and a concert by Dave Stamey on Friday, April 24. The event, held at the historic Rancho Camulos, begins at 11 a.m. Tickets are $40 and benefit the non-profit museum’s historical preservation.

An Evening of Music with Don Edwards is scheduled for 7 p.m. on Friday, April 24. Guests will enjoy an enchanting evening of music at the William S. Hart Mansion featuring Don Edwards. Tickets are $80 and seating is limited to preserve the event’s intimate setting.

The last event scheduled to accompany the official 2009 Cowboy Festival weekend at Melody Ranch is the off-site Art at Hart Quick Draw, held Saturday, April 25 at William S. Hart Park’s Hart Hall. Guests will receive an exclusive tour of the priceless art and Western artifacts at Bill Hart’s mansion followed by an artist’s quick draw, auction and petit buffet. Tickets to this exciting arts event are $25.

Tickets for the 2009 Cowboy Festival at Melody Ranch, as well as Day at the Autry, Chuckwagon Dinner Show, Melody Ranch Movie Night, Californio Fiesta de Rancho Camulos, An Evening of Music with Don Edwards and the Art at Hart Quick Draw can be purchased online or by phone at 661-286-4021.

For more information on the 16th Annual Cowboy Festival and its preliminary events, call 661-286-4021 or visit the website.

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