Saddle up for the Rancho West fest

Saddle up for the Rancho West fest
Doug Long has been part of most every Encinitas event, offering his volunteer service for many years and will receive the Living Heritage Award May 17, from the San Dieguito Heritage Museum. Courtesy photo

Swap those flip flops for some cowboy boots and mosey on down to Carlsbad’s annual Wild West Fest from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. May 17, for a rustic adventure of Western-themed crafts, salsa contest, root-beer tastings, pony rides and mechanical bull riding for the youngsters.


The event will be held at Leo Carrillo Ranch Historic Park, 6200 Flying L.C. Lane. The park was once owned by actor, philanthropist, poet and preservationist Leo Carrillo and is a designated California Historical Landmark.

Admission to Wild West Fest is free, and activity cards can be purchased for $6 for things like pony and mechanical bull rides, souvenir photos with authentically dressed cowboys and cowgirls and crafts.

Among the event highlights is the salsa contest, which is judged by Chili’s, and features prizes for salsa taste as well as table presentation in the following categories: best overall, people’s choice, best presentation, funniest presentation, best fruit salsa, hottest salsa and originality.

For $3 participants can taste five different root beers and then receive a root beer float.

Rachael Shay, special events supervisor, said “Wild West Fest is a step back in time since Leo Carrillo Ranch Historic Park was once an actual working ranch,” she said. “The Wild West is something beach communities like Carlsbad don’t often get to experience.”

The Leo Carrillo Ranch Historic Park was established in the late 1930s by Leo Carrillo. The regular walking tours at the park will be preempted by the event festivities on May 17, but the Hacienda will remain open for tours from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. Free parking is available at Carrillo Elementary School.

For more information, visit or call (760) 602-7519



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