2015 was a memorable year in many ways. The 23rd Lawrence Old Fashioned Christmas Parade was blessed with perhaps the best weather ever, cool enough to keep the equines comfortable while they worked but warm and sunny enough that drivers, riders and spectators came in record numbers to watch or participate. It was a truly awesome year with several new “firsts” to remember.
In their first parade appearance, Lawrence Adams from Warrensburg, MO, joined by Kyleigh Kauffman, Roger Yancey and Sam Lee brought their team of 6 Belgian Draft Horses pulling a newly built blue high-wheeled hitch wagon for an awesome display of horsemanship. Holding the lines on 6 large horses for the 2 hour journey from the fairgrounds through downtown and back is a huge challenge for anyone’s hands, as Lawrence Adams will attest.
From Windsor, MO, the Drenon Ranch brought it’s authentic concord stagecoach, pulled by 6 Morgan/Percheron cross horses and made 2015 the first year this parade had TWO 6-horse hitches to “wow” the crowd.
Reindeers got the day off as Mr. and Mrs. Santa Claus, along with their elves, chose to visit Lawrence on horseback. For the first time ever, Jolly St. Nick and his lovely wife rode their trusty mounts through downtown Lawrence to the delight of all the children.
Who knew Santa was an accomplished horseman as well as an expert driver of reindeer?
Gus, our infamous “talking” mule owned by Bob and Joyce Saueressig, had a record number of other mules joining him in 2015. Over a dozen new mules made the trip down Massachusetts St., both in harness and under saddle, to demonstrate the variety and versatility of this breed. Perhaps Gus felt a little less self-conscious about his large ears with more company of his own kind as he was not as noisy in his stall on Friday night!