Kids Under 3 FREE
Santa Clarita Cowboy Festival @ Melody Ranch
Once a year Melody Ranch Studios opens its backlot to the public and hosts the Santa Clarita Cowboy Festival. Melody Ranch has been the go-to spot for western movies since 1915 and has a full-scale, old-west town built in the backyard. During the festival, the ghost town comes alive with musical performances, variety shows, trick-ropers, gunslingers, and many a cowboy.
We’re not exactly “Western Heritage” sort of people. The boys aren’t even aware of the genre and Peter is staunchly anti-cowboy. But you don’t have to listen to country music…or even like country music, to have fun at the Cowboy Festival. The whole family had a blast.
The festival is filled with musical productions and shows at various stages. We were privileged to watch Joey Dillon (world title holder for gun slinging). The tricks and speed and the laughs from the comedy routine made the entire performance a unique experience. If you’re going to watch a gunslinger…might as well see the best.
J put his magic lessons to use and volunteered from the audience to assist magician Pop Haydn. It’s his first time joining a show onstage; so I was very proud to see my little boy having the courage to perform.
J is in the middle of another police-stage, so we checked out the jail first-thing. They also had leathercrafters, blacksmiths, trick ropers, and an educational kids corner. We got a great photo of our whole family in the middle of swirling lasso. They teach you some of the basics of lassoing as well, and I managed to rope the mechanical calf…suck it Peter!
You do not park at Melody Ranch…or even remotely close to it. Parking is at a designated lot and you are transported by bus. There is no shade, and the line is long; bring sunscreen and a hat. Or skip the line with VIP tickets.
This is the only festival we’ve been to ever where the extra entertainment is completely free…none of the performers solicited or would accept tips. Free WANTED posters, free roping instructions, free souvenir video-flip books (that was a new one), and free photographs with entertainers…usually those things cost extra. I spoke to the illustrators drawing a WANTED poster of my boys, and he said the guild was there as volunteers. So other than food and shopping, the tickets pay for all the festival entertainment.