Ford on the Road Neighborhood Guide: Old Town Newhall

As our JAM Sessions pop up all over LA County, we thought it would be fun to share some of the hidden gems that make each of our host neighborhoods so special. Today, we sat down with Blue13 Dance Company founder and frequent JAM leader Achinta McDaniel and Santa Clarita Arts and Events Coordinator Kyle Schnurr to explore the magic of Old Town Newhall.

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The “farm-to-table” Newhall Refinery uses fresh, organic produce from Southern California farms.

Let’s start with food. What’s your favorite spot for some good grub in Newhall?

Kyle Schnurr: The Newhall Refinery is one of my favorite spots. They specialize in craft beer and “from scratch” food that changes with the seasons. It’s built from reclaimed oak with Edison Style light bulbs, which gives it this really ole-timely, but hip feel.

Oh and their sister restaurant Egg Plantation is a breakfast wonderland where you can order 101 different omelets!

Achinta McDaniel: When I was jamming, the India Jones food truck was on site as part of ArtSlam. It was delicious and totally appropriate for our Bollywood JAM.

Achinta, you facilitate JAMs all over for the Ford; what makes Newhall special?

AM: The atmosphere is beautiful:  with the twinkling lights on the trees, the buzz of the neighborhood and the diversity of the community. Also, the outdoor space allows for everyone to join in on the excitement in their own way: from a tiny little girl in glittery boots jumping around with wild abandon to an older couple snuggling on benches and watching after dinner.  It’s just a magical place to JAM.

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With stunning views and artifacts from Hollywood history, William S. Hart Regional Park and Museum has something for everyone.

Besides JAMs, what’s your favorite thing to do for free in the area?

KS: The William S. Hart Park and Museumis incredible and totally free. The museum is the former mansion of the famed silent film actor and director who produced a series of hit Western movies in the early 1900s. The exhibits include tons of incredible Western artwork as well as mementos from early Hollywood, personal furnishings and artifacts representing multiple Native American cultures.

There’s also a collection of farm animals, a herd of American bison, a huge picnic area, a series of hiking trails and a Western-themed gift store.

AM: ArtSlam also provides so many incredible things to do for free: from participatory arts and crafts to live music and culinary demonstrations.

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Achinta McDaniel is the founder of Blue13 Dance Company, which connects diverse communities through public outreach and dance education.

What’s your favorite area to walk around?

AM: I adore Main Street. Before I led JAMs in Newhall, I didn’t even know such a quaint and lovely place existed so close to the bustle and madness of LA.

KS: Totally and if you look closely on Main Street, you might notice bronze stars and terrazzo tiles stamped in the ground.  These are part of “The Walk of Western Stars.” The walk honors the legends of Western film, television and radio who have contributed to America’s heritage – like Roy Rogers, John Wayne and Bruce Dern.

Newhall actually has a Walking Tour App too. It’ll guide you through film locations and things like the Saugus Train Station, where Theodore Roosevelt passed through in 1903. It’s also free and pretty fun.

Check out the full list of upcoming JAMs here.