Kickoff
Horse parade launches Holidays

Horse Parade 2013 (3)

Miranda Anderson

M. Anderson

It just wouldn’t be the holidays in Warren County without the annual Lebanon kickoff, known as the Horse and Carriage Parade Festival.

Local horse owners showcase their animals dressed in festive attire, and gallivant through the streets of Lebanon, as citizens crowd the streets to watch the parade. The horse parade has come to be known as southern Ohio’s most loved event in the holiday season, after 25 years of stomping through the streets.

Lebanon local, Hayley Coomer has been attending the Lebanon Parade since she was little, and is now making a tradition for her own family to watch the parade.

“The horse parade has become a tradition,” says Coomer, “the holidays just wouldn’t be the same without it, and I know everyone in Lebanon agrees.”

Between the two walks this year, one at 1 pm, and the other at 7 that night, over 200, 00 citizens filled the streets, one of the biggest turn outs out of all the years. People came piling in as early as 9 o’ clock to conspire and mingle around the streets and vendors that lined down town Lebanon.

Over 40 different vendors with food, souvenirs, winter clothing items and accessories were set up to sell for watchers, along with live music, and announcing by the local radio station, Warm 98.

The parade this year consisted of over 900 horses, which all were dressed to the nines in jingle bells, red and white stockings, and draped in lights. Carriage riders waved and wished the crowd ‘Merry Christmas’ while trolling down Main Street, some dressed as characters such as Santa Claus, and The Grinch.

One horse owner and annual walker in the horse parade is Connor Gatliff, another native in the city of Lebanon. Gatliff walks his Quarter Horse Cross in the parade, and has religiously done so for the past twelve years. “I would have to say,” Gatliff admits, “the cold weather, and beginning of the winter season is my favorite part of the parade experience,”

This holiday season is full of festivities to enjoy around the Kings Local School district, including annual celebrations such as the much loved Horse Parade in Lebanon. This holiday season, create a family tradition, make a memory, and savor the spirit of the holidays.

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