Pelican Rapids Lighted Horse Parade Brings Hundreds Out in Balmy November Temps
Photos and story by Ley Bouchard
One of the nicest traditions of the Upper Midwest takes place the Friday evening after Thanksgiving when the retail shops and the Pelican Rapids, MN., Chamber hosts a Lighted Horse Parade which begins at 6:30 p.m.. Local businesses sponsor horse-drawn floats driven through downtown. Regional teamsters bring their horses, decorated in lights, to pull wagons through downtown Pelican Rapids. The teams/floats are sponsored by local and regional businesses and each teamster must have a sponsor.
Many of the local businesses keep their doors open until after the parade, providing beverages, snacks, cookies, and many good deals for Christmas shoppers. Strand Hardware, newly acquired by Matthew Strand, traditionally serves beer, wine, cookies, popcorn and has lines to the door waiting to go through the store, visiting with friends and strangers, shopping and perusing the Christmas displays.
Mercantile on Main serves snack chips and dips, a sampling of the many items they sell in the shop. The Chamber of Commerce office gives blank ballots and asks people to vote for their favorite team/float. The Chamber offers a great opportunity for magazines providing tourism and event information for the region along with many historical items.
This year’s teams number many from the Red River Harness and Saddle Club focused in the northwest central region of MN and Mideastern ND. The members participating this year include: Becca Babolian, Polly Thorsness, Denise and Brian Laymon.
The parade proceeds up the main streets of Pelican and comes back through the downtown area so people have a chance to observe the floats twice; once on each side.
The registered teamsters and the sponsors as listed in the program are included with the float number. Please note some people are listed twice which merely indicates they brought more than one team.
- Ryan Peterson, Battle Lake, MN, driving for Larry’s Supermarket
- & 24. Wayne Erickson, Erhard, MN., driving for Pelican Drug & Dairy Queen
- Marcy & Chad Beaty, Frazee, MN., driving for Sanford Health
- Brian Marquardt, Rothsay, MN., driving for Ditch Dentistry
- Denise and Brian Laymon, Vergas, MN., driving for Park Region Oil & Ballard Sanitation
- Adam Johnson, Pelican Rapids, MN., driving for Riverview Place
- Wally Rodewald, Detroit Lakes, MN., driving for the Muddy Moose/Mercantile on Main
- Dave Biewers, Barnesville, MN., driving for Homeowners Financial/Heart O’ Lakes Quality Meats
- Dale Engen, Hawley, MN., driving for Pelican Rapids High School
- Deborah & Charlie Grose, Detroit Lakes, MN., driving for Wells Fargo Bank
- Dick Schauer, Park Rapids, MN., driving for Dunvilla
- Polly Thorsness, Barnesville, MN., driving for Bell Bank
- Carol & Jim Sheridan, Hawley, MN., driving for Weckworth Animal Hospital
- Dick Rossow with Fjords, Rothsay, MN., driving for Lake Region Electric Coop
- Dave Kaste, Battle Lake, MN., driving for Pelican Rapids Press
- Dick Schauer, Park Rapids, MN., sponsored by Dakota Smiles
- Dave Kaste, Battle Lake, MN., sponsored by Trinity Lutheran Church
- Ardean Johnson, Detroit Lakes, MN., driving for Pelican Valley Nursing Home
- Becca Babolian, Borup, MN., driving for Kreckelberg Law Office
- Ginger Demmer, Hawley, MN., driving for Farmers Elevator
- Jayne Olsgaard, Sabin, MN., driving for Arvig
- Dave Staples, Harwood, ND., driving for Thea’s Pumpkin Patch
- & 25. Sheriff Possee of Fergus Falls driving for the Sheriff’s Possee
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