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(courtesy photo)

Carlsbad’s Wild West Fest, May 16

Carlsbad CA— The City of Carlsbad’s annual Wild West Fest will take place from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. on Saturday, May 16 at Leo Carrillo Ranch Historic Park, located  6200 Flying L.C. Lane. The event includes western themed activities, salsa contest, root beer tastings, pony rides and mechanical bull riding for kids.

The park was once a working rancho owned by actor, philanthropist, poet and preservationist Leo Carrillo and is a designated California Historical Landmark.

Wild West Fest is a free event and activity cards can be purchased for $6 for activities like pony and mechanical bull rides, souvenir photos with authentically dressed cowboys and cowgirls, and western themed crafts.

Among the event highlights is the salsa contest, which is judged by Chili’s Encinitas, 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.

Additionally, participants can enjoy root beer tastings. For $3 participants can taste five different root beers and receive a root beer float.

Rachael Shay, special events supervisor, said the event celebrates Carlsbad’s rich history.

“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. It’s a fun change of pace that also looks back at the city’s heritage.”

The Leo Carrillo Ranch Historic Park was established in the late 1930s by Leo Carrillo and is listed in the National Register of Historic Places in addition to being a registered California Historical Landmark. Regular walking tours at the park will be preempted by the event festivities on May 16, but the Hacienda will remain open for tours from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m.