Sunday, April 25, 2010

Movies in the Santa Clarita Valley, Part 13: The Cowboy Festival at Melody Ranch

Well, I guess you've figured out by now that I did make it to the Cowboy Festival after all. Earlier yesterday morning we drove by only to find mobs of cars and people. But at 2 in the afternoon, the crowd had thinned out somewhat and I found myself hopping on the shuttle without a wait.

The bus went through the neighborhood that borders Melody Ranch - a very exclusive neighborhood. My fantasies of renting a house near the ranch evaporated in a nanosecond when I saw the houses - these were all, let's say "higher priced custom homes."

The festival itself was very professionally run - this is the 17th year that they have ran it - and the planners had pretty much the bases covered. All types of races and lifestyles were covered. Most of the exhibits were mostly vendors, but the quality of the goods being sold - from books to silver to hats to tack to art - was quality stuff. No junky trinkets to be found, at least that i could see.

Anyway, I got busy and started taking photos. i'll let you enjoy them.

There were more than enough people dressed in costume. I did a double take when I first walked in - I could have sworn this guy on the right was the Seth Bullock character from Deadwood.

They had quite a few things for kids to get involved in - learning exhibits like what it was like to make your own clothes, what was in a kitchen in the wild west, and even a little opportunity to see what it would be like to be put "into custody" by the local sherriff.

Several demonstrations, musical performances and poetry readings were going on. There were also several authors with tables for selling their books.

As the sun started to set, the crowds thinned out and things quieted down. And while I didn't have a wait for the shuttle going in, there was a line at times going out.

It was sad to leave; but at least I know there's always next year. I was very glad that I decided to give the Festival a second chance. Anyone who is interested in movie history and especially the history of this fabled ranch and its role in the history of the Western movies should try to get here. It's the one chance you'll have to walk the same street as Gary Cooper in High Noon.


Chris said...

I'm glad you got to go after all. So this place is only open during the festival, eh? That's kind of a bummer. I'd like to see it.

Barry Traylor said...

Thanks for sharing. Some of the costumers really hit the mark. Their clothing really looks authentic.

Laurie Powers said...

Yes, it's only open to the public once a year - on this weekend. The rest of the time the ranch is reserved for film shoots.

Charles Gramlich said...

Love the costumes. I want to dress up for one of these. I have the clothes.

Laurie Powers said...

You'll have to come next year, Charles!