If it’s true that every time a bell rings an angel gets his wings, then it follows that every time a cowboy’s spur hits the ground a cowboy gets a star. The stars are scattered about on the streets of downtown Newhall, California. Known as the Newhall Walk of Western Stars, each year at the Santa Clarita Cowboy Festival, a new star is revealed on the sidewalk of Newhall’s Main Street area. Newhalls’s Mayor presents the star to the latest inductee and the cowboy celebration gets underway.
Taking place each year in April, the Santa Clarita Cowboy Festival isn’t just for cowboys (or cowgirls.) With four stages of cowboy, bluegrass and folk music, this festival is a great value for music lovers. Of course, there’s plenty of cowboy grub for sale and lots of activities for young buckaroos. The Walk of Western Stars program was started in 1981 and inducts a new Western musician, film, or television star each year as a way of recognizing their contribution to Western culture. Visitors to Newhall have access to the Walk of Western Stars anytime of day. There is a free app available (see link in Insider Tip) that guides visitors through the Walk of Western Stars.
I was fortunate to have attended the Santa Clarita Cowboy Festival last year when cowboy poet Waddie Mitchell was inducted into the Newhall Walk of Western Stars in 2015. Not only is he a talented writer and performer, he’s one of the nicest cowboys I’ve had the pleasure of meeting.
While the two day Cowboy Festival offers unique genres of music at each venue, ranging from American and Folk to Bluegrass, Western and Swing, The Canyon Theatre Guild offers traditional cowboy and poetry readings. There are also additional activities, offered free or for a fee, leading up to the event, such as the Ronald Reagan Library and Paramount Ranch Tour. I met Cowgirl Christy Lewis and her daughter at the Santa Clarita Public Library for a Trick Roping & Whip Cracking demonstration, a free community event sponsored by the library in conjunction with the Santa Clarita Cowboy Festival.
Insider Tip: The Newhall Walking Tour App with interactive map, allows visitors to discover Santa Clarita’s historic sites, directs them to local film locations and guides them through the Walk of Western Stars.
If You Go:
Santa Clarita Cowboy Festival http://cowboyfestival.org/
Western Walk of Stars
City of Santa Clarita
23920 Valencia Blvd Suite 100
Santa Clarita, CA 91355
Facebook: Visit Santa Clarita
Article and photos by Travel Writer Nancy D. Brown. I was a guest of the City of Santa Clarita, however, all opinions are my own.