-By Ley Bouchard-
A town nestled around the Pelican River and dam hosts the annual Horse Parade which is a Norman Rockwell/Terry Redlin landscape come alive in the northwest central Minnesota area. This annual tradition takes place at 6:30 p.m. the day after Thanksgiving.
Folks dressed up like true northern Minnesotans flock to the Pelican Rapids, MN in the afternoon to park their cars and get their sidewalk spot for the uniquely charming event that includes teamsters and their steeds pulling lighted and decorated floats presenting a Christmas message, carolers or advertising for the sponsor of the float.
Members of the local harness clubs, the Midwest Minnesota Harness Club and the Red River Harness and Saddle Club provide a large number of the floats while individual teamsters sans club affiliation are also welcome to participate. It’s an annual tradition for many. The spectators are provided voting cards to cast their ballot for their favorite float.
Teamsters work with their horses all year to prepare them, train them to be “parade ready”, keep them fit and desensitize to noise, and kids darting out to get the candy many floats toss to spectators.
This years’ horse parade was viewed by hundreds of people lining the streets to watch the event. Stores are open: the Strand Ace Hardware offers free beer, wine, cider or hot chocolate. There may be a couple Black Friday specials available as well. The Mercantile on Main serves an assortment of cookies and bars and keeps a large variety of household and personal items for sale including gloves, hats, scarves, jewelry, cards and food items.
Pelican Rapids has a lot to offer year round with Maplewood State Park nearby and lake country at its doorstep. The annual Horse Parade is a delightful experience not to be missed.
Thank you to all the teamsters and horses who participate to make this special annual event possible.
The winner of team: -Carol Sheridan and Little Bit- Unit 12
The winner of Peoples Choice Float: Trinity Lutheran Church- Unit 20, driven by Steven Bedar.
The parade participants were:
|1||Heather Westby||Pelican Dental|
|2||Dennis Sobtzak||Sanford Health|
|3||Polly Thorness||Bell Bank|
|4||Jeremy Johnson||Pelican Motel|
|7||Becca Babolian||Krekelberg Law|
|8||Ardean Johnson||MN Nat’l Bank|
|9||Steve Bednar||Mercantile/Muddy Moose|
|10||Jeff Claypool||Farmers Elevator|
|11||Brenna Moen||Pelican Drug/Lakeland|
|12||Carol Sheridan||Pelican Press|
|13||Brian Laymon||Park Region/Ballards|
|14||Christy Bjorgan||Petals/Larson Funeral|
|15||Tyler Armstrong||HOL/Big John’s|
|16||Matt Johnson||Larry’s Supermarket|
|17||Jesse Schmitz||Lakes Inn at Dunvilla|
|18||Adam Johnson||Riverview/American Family|
|19||Jake Nordick||Pelican Rapids School|
|20||Steve Bednar||Trinity Lutheran Church|