Lebanon’s traditional parade kicks off the holidays

December 23, 2017 by  

For the 25th year in a row, Lebanon residents started holiday season with the Horse-Drawn Carriage Parade and Christmas Festival. The event draws as many as 200,000 people to the city, which is about 80 miles from Columbus.

Residents, who plan for months, change the city into a holiday village where visitors can sample Christmas goodies, shop, and visit with elves. However, the biggest event of the day is the parade, which has more than 100 units, all of which must be pulled by horses. The breed doesn’t matter, and horses of all size, from tiny miniature ponies to gigantic Clydesdales, take part.

Joe Wilson, the chairman of the event, said he is unaware of any other parade in the state where entries must be pulled by horse.

The parade has proven so popular, it runs twice – once in the afternoon and the second time in the evening. The night parade is particularly popular because the carriages are lighted.

In addition to the parade and festival, the Glendower Mansion, a historic home in the Greek Revival style, sports lavish holiday decorations, and is open for tours. Volunteers work for months on the decor.

On the Village Green, a fictional character named Zachariah Johnson tells stories of what life was like in the region in the 1800s.

Special events like this can be even more festive when officials create banners with a holiday theme to use as decorations.