Over One Hundred Horse-Drawn Antique Carriages In Historic Christmas Parade

In Lebanon, Ohio the Antique Horse Drawn Carriage Parade has become one of the most anticipated Christmas celebrations. People travel afar to see this time honored tradition.

The unique Christmas parade features more than 100 antique horse-drawn carriages parading through the streets of beautiful historic downtown Lebanon.

Each year, hundreds of horses and thousands of local Lebanon, Ohio residents prepare for the coming of Christmas.

As night falls, historic buildings and candle-lit streets provide the perfect backdrop for this parade.

People of all ages line Lebanon’s charming downtown streets, candles in hand, anxiously awaiting the first of 100 horse-drawn antique carriages to pass by.

Held every year on the first Saturday in December, this Christmas parade has become one of the most unique and beautiful holiday celebrations in the Midwest.

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Source: Examiner News
Photos: Warren County, Ohio

Clydesdales Are Toast of Kent

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Lois Miller loves horses.

So when she heard that the world-famous Budweiser Clydesdales were visiting Kent, Ohio this past October, the 78-year-old Springfield Township woman wasn’t about to miss a chance to see them.

”These are my favorite,” she said, as she stood on the sidewalk with her husband Joe, 79, waiting for the horses to appear.

Why?

”I don’t know,” she said. ”I know God created them and they are magnificent. Absolutely magnificent. Some people get thrilled over race cars, but let me look at a horse in motion.”

At the Budweiser event police estimated that at least 2,000 people came downtown to catch a glimpse of the giant draft horses as they paraded along city streets.

The crowd was so enthusiastic that as soon as the three black, custom-made tractor-trailers carrying the eight horses and special beer wagon stopped, people encircled the trucks to make sure they got a close-up view.

Parents hoisted children onto their shoulders. And many toted cameras to capture the moment.

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“This is the most exciting thing Kent has seen for a long time,” Clara Samblanet, 70, of Kent said as she and her daughter and grandchildren watched the horses being readied.

Joseph Jordan, an Anheuser-Busch market manager who lives in Rootstown Township and is a Kent State University graduate, arranged the visit with the help of Main Street Kent. The horses made the stop on their way to the Cleveland Browns game.

“They’re really pretty and big,” 4-year-old Brandon Parkhill of Kent said.

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The horses, which weigh about 2,000 pounds each and stand over 6 feet tall at the shoulder, clip-clopped their way through downtown delivering Budweiser to bars and restaurants along the route.

A Dalmatian was perched on top of the red, white and gold Studebaker-built wagon. And the two drivers wore green suits.

As soon as the horses started moving, the crowd applauded.

Brad Patterson, the owner of The Loft, accepted a bottle of Bud on behalf of his bar.

“It was great,” he said. ”That’s a pretty classy operation.”

The Clydesdales, featured for years in advertising campaigns, made their debut for Anheuser-Busch in 1933, when August A. Busch Jr. presented the horses and beer wagon to his father to commemorate the first bottle of beer brewed in St. Louis after Prohibition.

Recognizing the advertising potential, the brewery sent the horses throughout the East Coast, even to deliver a case of beer to President Franklin D. Roosevelt at the White House.

Today, there are six teams of horses, with five of them traveling to hundreds of events a year.

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600 Clydesdales From Across America Display Horsepower At World Clydesdale Show This Weekend

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  “Angel “and “Missy” prepare for World Class Show
with Ken and Sonja Airgood

In an American first, the annual world showcase event for Clydesdale horses — the big, stylish breed of draft-style animals made famous by the Budweiser hitch — will be held Friday, Saturday and Sunday at the Alliant Energy Center in Madison, Wisconsin.

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“Jake” of the Budweiser Team
gets beauty treatment.

Organizers said they would have felt the show was an unqualified success with 500 horses. Well over 600 stallions, mares and geldings of all ages and from all across North America have registered to be shown in a variety of classes.

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“Flower Girl” and “Penny” arrive from Alberta, Canada
with owner, Allen Gordeyko.

“It’s really a terrific opportunity to have a show of this quality here,” said Ken Airgood of rural Marshall. He and his wife, Sonja, have been breeding and raising Clydesdales for almost 10 years

Classes at the show will range from halter classes, which are like beauty pageants, to pleasure riding classes to genuinely exciting driving classes where elegant rigs pulled by the powerful animals compete against each other.

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The carriages and wagons are powered by as many as six of the huge, high-stepping horses harnessed together, driven by expert drivers who handle up to 40 pounds of reins.

There’s little room for error, and drivers need to be strong, capable and confident to handle horses that average about a ton each.

As they wait for the shiny show harnesses to be carefully attached to the cart, carriage or wagon they will be pulling, the towering horses fairly dance with excitement, eager to be off.

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“The breed has a reputation for being tractable. They are bigger than the light horse breeds, of course, but you handle and train them the same way you’d train any other breed, with consistency, discipline, rewards and praise.  It’s important, though, not to be intimidated,” Airgood said.

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“The draft horse people are so welcoming and really helpful as you begin to learn about the horses,” he said.

“If you are at a show, and you have something break on a harness, for example, three guys will trip over themselves to help you get it fixed or replaced, and these are the same people you’ll be competing against in the next class.

It’s a great community.”

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Airgood believes the popularity of all the draft breeds is increasing.

While there are several other popular draft breeds of horses, including Belgians, Percherons and Shires, the Clydesdales are undoubtedly the best-known heavy horse breed, thanks to the buzz surrounding the Budweiser hitches.

“They have really made the Clydesdales, which originated in Scotland, instantly recognizable.”

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Ken and his wife have always loved the Clydesdales’ appearance.

“They’re just classy-looking to me. They have so much presence and personality,” he said.

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