Going Cowboy!

Going Cowboy!

Going Cowboy! I’m Greg Martin with today’s Line On Agriculture.

There is an old Toby Keith song that says “I should have been a cowboy.” And indeed there are a lot of people who enjoy the cowboy life but there are also a lot of us who enjoy immersing ourselves in the history of the cowboy west and there is no better place to do that than at a cowboy festival like California’s Santa Clarita Cowboy Festival

FLEMING: We can’t forget our roots and we can’t forget how hard people had to work to make it in the West and the movies I think were inspired by that all those years and I think now the nice thing about the cowboy gatherings around the country is they also talk about the new West which is what the ranchers and the working cowboys have to deal with. Everything from the water rights to just the day to day challenges.

That’s Mike Fleming the festival director who says the old west was really a very culturally and ethnically diverse time and says they pay tribute to that.

FLEMING: Our festival is really kind of a nice mixture I think because we’ve got the film history there at Melody Ranch where you actually walk the streets where Gunsmoke was filmed and many other films but then you get to hear the poetry and the music that basically comes from the ranching culture.

Oh yes, Gene Autry’s Melody Ranch where a bulk of the early westerns were filmed and even the HBO series Deadwood.

FLEMING: You know Melody Ranch started out as Monogram Studios back in the early 1900’s and they had the black and white silent and then the talkies and Vasquez Rocks; there was movie sites and shooting locations all over this valley. Plus many of the stars used to come up here and it was sort of their winter getaway so we definitely have the history that goes back into all of these roots.

According to Fleming the festival takes place over a long weekend and is an incredible entertainment value.

FLEMING: The Santa Clarita Cowboy Festival will be taking place April 22-26. We have a lot of activities and shows and entertainment going on from the 22nd - 24th  all over town and then on the 25th & 26th the festival proper opens at Melody Ranch Motion Picture Studio. It’s the one time a year the public can come in and visit that famous studio where Gunsmoke and the Virginian and many other films were shot and it comes alive as a western venue and we have 5 different stages with music and poetry

Mrs. Martin and I plan to spend part of our 30th wedding anniversary this year at the festival and will be reporting from the site so I hope you stay tuned. For more information on the festival visit cowboyfestival.org.

That’s today’s Line On Agriculture. I’m Greg Martin on the Northwest Ag Information Network.


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