In Focus: Harding’s Horse’n Around Parade Celebrates Christmas in a Unique Way
The 10th annual Horse’n Around Christmas Parade took place in Harding earlier this month, where hundreds gathered to observe one of central Minnesota’s more unique parades.
Every year in Harding, equine enthusiasts from all over meet to see a small town of no more than four blocks transform into a parade route where the ponies are prancing and the horses are strutting.
“Well, it really just brings all of us together at – just to celebrate Christmas, spread the cheer, and everybody enjoys it,” said organizer Jeron Schubert.
What makes this parade so special here in Harding is how unique it is. It’s not every day you see a horse parade, and the attendees know that well.
“You don’t see it every day, and it’s just something different for everyone,” said organizer Lane Schubert. “A lot of them are from out of – in towns and stuff, they don’t get to see horses and they just get excited when it’s something different.”
The weather outside at this year’s event wasn’t as frightful as in years past, but roughing it in the elements is something people at the parade will continue.
“We can be tough Minnesotans and we can dress for the weather, watch the horses come through, it’ll be dark,” said organizer Dondi Schubert. “And then you’ll, I mean, to just see them come through, decorated because everybody will decorate the horse someway, somehow.”
The Schubert family started this parade after some inspiration from their travels, and they can get emotional when looking back on what they have achieved.
“You get teary-eyed because you’ll hear the little kids, you know, they get so excited to see the horses,” said Dondi Schubert with a laugh. “I saw one [parade] that Nebraska was doing it, way warmer weather. And I was like, ‘Oh, we can do that in Harding.’ And then I mentioned it to my sisters. One said, ‘Oh, go get a full-time job, honey, you can’t do that.’ And the other one said, ‘Go for it.’ I was like, ‘OK, one’s behind me, I’m going!’ And away we went and it’s just gotten fun.”
Over 50 horses were brought into Harding for the parade. The owners of the horses traveled from as far north as Nisswa and as far south as Milaca, according to event organizers.