In my town, we know that Christmas is almost here when the local horse men and women put on the yearly Christmas parade. It isn’t a big parade, just a group of about 15 to 20 riders that bring on some holiday cheer for the kids and the folks in town. It is also a nice way for the local riders to celebrate another year of horseback riding and to connect with the town. What makes it special is that it’s also a fundraiser for the town’s food bank.
A week before the event, riders put flyers up telling residents on what day the parade will come through their streets and that the riders will be collecting canned food for the food bank and give out candy to the kids. The riders gather on the day of the event and decorate their horses for the occasion. Once everyone has their gear on, the riders are off forming a line and going through the neighborhoods. Some precautions need to be taken. Usually someone walks in front and warns oncoming cars. It is also a good idea to prepare the horse for such an event. He should be used to walking on pavement and dealing with cars, motorcycles and barking dogs.
To make it not too cumbersome to carry the donated cans while riding, a truck follows the horses and collects the donations. The kids love the parade especially, not only for the candy that the riders throw, but also because of the beautifully decorated horses. To make the event more festive, the truck also broadcasts some Christmas music of well known tunes, and many of the riders and folks on the streets sing along. The riders end the event with a gift exchange and a potluck, and the food bank comes to pick up the donations. It's a great event all around. I love this little parade and would never want to miss it.