The United Horseman's Association Equestrian Team from Virginia will highlight Saturday's second annual Horse and Carriage Parade down Strawberry Lane in Buckhannon.
The event is sponsored by Mike Ross, a longtime businessman and former legislator; and Ike Morris, founder of Waco Oil and Gas.
"The West Virginia Strawberry Festival Board is thrilled that they are once again sponsoring this great event," said Jody Light, the board's sponsorship chair, about Ross and Morris. "We're proud to have them help with this for the second time, and we look forward to having a spectacular Horse and Carriage Parade to help kick off this year's Strawberry Festival."
The parade and the Wild West Show on Saturday will be part of the first weekend of the 72nd annual West Virginia Strawberry Festival. The parade will step off at 5 p.m., and it will feature a variety of horses and carriages. Units are expected from West Virginia, Ohio, Pennsylvania, Virginia and Maryland.
The UHA Equestrian Team will serve at the honor unit in the parade. The 16-member team will be carrying flags and delighting parade-goers with its well-groomed and well-trained horses.
A total of $2,000 in prize money will be awarded to winning participants, along with a variety of awards. Taking top honors at the 2012 parade was the carriage-and-horse team owned by Bob Pattison from Avella, Pa.
Throughout the day, downtown Buckhannon will be filled with live musicians, and Upshur County CEOS clubs will have plenty of food and baked goods for sale.
In addition, the Wild West Show will take place at Jawbone Park in downtown Buckhannon at 11 a.m., 12:30, 2 and 3 p.m. Trick-riding specialist Shadow Montag will perform as part of the Wild West show, which also will feature a shootout and trick roping to entertain visitors.
Stagecoach, carriage rides and pony rides will be available from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m., and again from 6 to 8 p.m. Saturday.
A Barnyard Bingo is set in the grassy area next to the Stockert Youth Center on Saturday following the parade.
Open-case performers will be scattered throughout the downtown area on Saturday between 11 a.m. and 4:45 p.m. James Snyder will perform in front of the Hunter Law Offices at 11 a.m. Ricky Mortis and the Stiffs will perform in front of the FC Bank parking lot at 11 a.m. Richard Dean will be at the corner of Main and Spring streets at 11 a.m., followed by Robert Russell and the band at 2 p.m. The Shanty Town Circus Troop will be in the town square at 2 p.m. Cross Generations will also be at the corner of Main and Spring streets at 1 p.m.
Another event, the Queen's Ball, will take from 9 p.m. to midnight Saturday at the Buckhannon Moose Club. Tickets are $25 per couple and $15 for singles. Rick K and the All-Nighters will be the musical entertainment for the evening. Dress for the evening is semi-formal.
On Sunday, a Draft Horse Pull will be at the Toby Bennett Farm. This will be the first of dozens of festival events slated through May 19 at the 72nd annual West Virginia Strawberry Festival.
The carnival will open at 6 p.m. Monday in downtown Buckhannon. The Opening Ceremonies will be held at noon on the plaza of the Upshur County Courthouse.
More information about the festival is available by calling 304-472-9036 or visiting www.wvstrawberryfestival.com.