“Cowboy Church” at the Center for Spiritual Living in La Crescenta made going to church Sunday a rockin’ good time. For the sixth year, these folks sure know to have fun and thank their Maker at the same time.

Featured during the one-hour service was Cody Bryant and the Riders of the Purple Sage. It was standing room only as parishioners stomped to the beat of the country-western music. Dozens of church-goes in their Sunday best, some wearing cowboy hats, bandannas and boots to match the theme, also welcomed Father Ted Ley of St. Ann’s Parish.

Ley, who participated in the celebration service led by the Rev. Bev Craig, is the brother of Cowboy Mike Ley of the Riders. The service was dedicated to the men and women who have served and are now serving in the U.S. armed forces.

A Western barbecue with all the fixins’ followed. Prominent in the crowd chowing down to steak, beans, corn and watermelon was a small contingent of La Crescenta Woman’s Club members led by Jean Bates, who had hand-sewn a red and white checkered quilt for raffle at $1 an opportunity ticket, six tickets for $5.

Tujunga resident and church member Carolyn Young said she never misses Cowboy Church.

“It just gets better and better,” she said. “You just can’t hear ‘Tumblin’ Tumble Weeds’ too much.”

The Center for Spiritual Living is at the La Crescenta Church of Religious Science, built in 1948 through fundraisers organized by Clifford and Sally Chaffee.

Friday marked the grand opening of the Kenneth Village Farmers Market, overflowing with fruits, vegetables, orchids and okra.

The market, on the corner of Kenneth Road and Sonora Avenue in Glendale, is a collaboration between the Kenneth Village Merchants Assn. and Scholastic Gardens, a nonprofit organization dedicated to reversing childhood obesity by setting up and operating neighborhood farmers markets and donating to local schools and youth programs.

A happy crowd gathered for the ribbon-cutting ceremony with Glendale City Councilwoman Laura Friedman. Spotted were Glendale City Clerk Ardy Kassakhian and fiancé Courtney Relph, from West Los Angeles.

“I’ll be moving to Glendale in about six months,” Relph said. Kassakhian nuptials may be right around the corner.

Rene Karapedian, president of the Merchants Assn., said, “We support the farmers market 100%.”

Aida Gabrielian, Aida’s European Skin Care merchant, agreed.

Looking for a good buy on the fresh produce were Glendale residents Louise and Byron Peebles, Shirley Darling, Helen and Richard Dickinson, and Melissa and Bryan Thombs, accompanied by 2-year-old Anderson Thombs, finding the strawberries to his liking.

The Merchants Assn. is providing the farmers market Kenneth Road location free of charge. The farmers market will be open from 3 to 7 p.m. for the next three Fridays. Once zoning issues are resolved, expect the Kenneth Village Farmers Market to be a weekly, year-around event.

Along with some 1,400 tea party rallies scheduled across the United States on Independence Day weekend, the Glendale Area Independence Tea Party was Friday at the Jeffers Estate in La Cañada Flintridge. More than 500 supporters turned out to celebrate at the family-friendly event with music by the Band of Patriots.

Glendale residents included event organizer Debi Devens, Cecelia Walker, Richard LaMont and actor-author Basil Hoffman, who read the entire Declaration of Independence, including the names of those who signed it.

“It was a very dramatic moment,” Hoffman said.

Crescenta Valley Town Councilwoman Danette Erickson also was there, enjoying the hot dogs, hamburgers and fun with former “Saturday Night Live” comedienne Victoria Jackson, who entertained on a small stage by doing an extended handstand in salute of the military. Also present was Burbank actress Ann Ault, leading the crowd in singing “God Bless America.”

The Tea Party Patriots is a grass-roots, nonpartisan movement that began in April to rein in federal government taxing and spending.

 RUTH SOWBY may be reached at ruthsowby@msn.com.

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