Western legends were honored with a bronze saddle plaque on the sidewalks of Old Town Newhall. This year's honorees were actors Bruce Dern and Buck Taylor, Grammy-award winning band Riders in the Sky and a posthumous award for William Boyd, AKA Hopalong Cassidy.
Dern, who has appeared in more than 80 feature films and more than 50 television shows, was genuinely appreciative of his award.
"I've never had anything like this before," he said, adding he remembers coming to Newhall long ago to work on movies and hanging out at Tex Williams' cafe.
Taylor, a regular on the long-running series "Gunsmoke," has been in more than 38 movies including "Tombstone," "Wild Wild West" and "Gods and Generals." He is also a well-known western painter, primarily working in watercolors.
(From left): Bruce Dern, Grace Boyd (widow
of actor William Boyd) and Buck Taylor arrive for the unveiling of their plaques in Old Town Newhall.
Alex Collins / The Signal
Taylor attended the event with his wife Goldie, a rodeo star and flight attendant.
When he unveiled his plaque, Taylor said he was overwhelmed by the generosity of the city.
"This is the best time of my life," he said.
Like Dern, Taylor remembers coming to Melody Ranch with his father when he made movies.
"My dad and I hunted quail all over here. My roots are here," he said.
Riders in the Sky, winners of the 2003 Grammy award for Best Musical Album for Children were also honored.
Ranger Doug spoke for the group when he said "It's been a lot of fun and we've been doing it the last 25 years the cowboy way."
Grace Boyd accepted the honor for her late husband William, who appeared in more than 60 movies as Hopalong Cassidy a record for an actor to play the same character in as many features.
Dern's brother-in-law, Barry Beckett, has lived in Newhall since the late 60's. He had submitted Dern's name to the nominating committee.
"I'm so glad he came out here today," Beckett said.
Amy Hovan of Studio City came to watch the stars and help with the Cowboy Couture fashion show. She said the city of Santa Clarita does a great job with all the events associated with the Cowboy Poetry and Music Festival.
"I think that it's great that the city does all this," Hovan said. "Everyone is really friendly and has a good time."
Santa Clarita Councilman Bob Kellar enjoyed the festivities and the crowd.
"This town lights up with Cowboy Poetry," Kellar said. "Everybody gets into it. When you hear the comments (from the honorees) today, you know it's worth all the effort."