Equestrian teams, horse riders and more than 50 horse-drawn carriages will roll down Strawberry Lane for the inaugural Horse and Carriage Parade set for 5 p.m. May 12.
The first parade of its kind to come to Buckhannon is sponsored by Mike Ross Inc. and Waco Oil and Gas and Ike Morris. The units will compete for top honors at the event which is expected to draw thousands of spectators along the 2.5-mile parade route in downtown Buckhannon.
The Strawberry Festival is scheduled for May 12 - 20 and features entertainment and competitions. The Horse and Carriage Parade will be the first of four parades scheduled throughout the week.
The Ohio Top Hands Equestrian Team from Bellbrook, Ohio, will lead the Horse and Carriage Parade on Main Street at 5 p.m. May 12 during the West Virginia Strawberry Festival in Buckhannon. The parade will be the first of four slated for the annual festival, which runs through May 20.
Leading the parade will be the Ohio Top Hands Equestrian Team from Bellbrook, Ohio. The unit is preceded by the "rider less horse" followed by a corps of riders displaying American flags. The group has appeared in many parades throughout the Eastern and Midwestern United States.
Another equestrian team slated to appear will be the Southern Ohio Ladies Aside. This group features Peruvian side- saddle horses with the riders appearing in authentic, colorful costumes.
Individual riders also will complete the lineup with a wide variety of horse breeds being showcased.
Among the horse-drawn carriages from five states will be farm wagons, buggies, covered wagons, chariots, stagecoaches, fire wagons, hearses and royalty carriages. Many of these units are antique carriages, while others are some of the newest carriages manufactured on the market. Still, others are self -built carriages created by horse owners.
The day's events don't stop with only the Horse and Carriage Parade. Throughout the day, visitors will have the chance to view a wide array of horse demonstrations including horseshoeing, "floating" horse teeth, square dancing with horses, a horsewhip exhibition and Wild West shoot-out. Horse and pony rides will be available along with stagecoach and carriage rides.
Organizers say it is potentially planning that well-known horse trainer Ferman Wingert from Ohio will present two horse obedience training seminars on Saturday.
While partaking of all the horse-related activities, visitors will delight in a bevy of street musicians and entertainers lining the entire Main Street of Buckhannon. The town will be filled with the music the entire day.
Festival officials say the public should make plans now for attending the events.
For more information on the Horse and Carriage Parade, call festival headquarters at 304-472-9036 or visit the festival website www.wvstrawberryfestival.com.