The local calendar is overflowing with holiday-related events this weekend. There are plenty of opportunities to support local charities, do a little Christmas shopping and just get into the holiday spirit.
Perhaps the most unique event, however, is today’s Old-Fashioned Christmas Parade, now in its 16th year. The parade scheduled to start down Massachusetts Street at 11 a.m. is a wonderful event that draws many visitors from throughout the region.
Organizers promise the parade “will be bigger and better than ever,” which was no small feat considering that it lost its major sponsor last year. Two new sponsors, the City of Lawrence and Wells Fargo Advisors, however, have picked up the reins to keep the parade going. Among the featured entries in the parade will be a restored 1895 Wells Fargo Stagecoach from Stanton, Iowa, and a carriage from South Dakota that took part in President Obama’s inauguration parade and is pulled by six Belgian horses.
This parade is the only opportunity many people, especially children, have ever had to see fully outfitted horse-drawn wagons and carriages. Maintaining these antique conveyances and the beautiful horses that pull them is a labor of love for people who ride in the parade. It also is a great gift to the people of Lawrence and everyone who comes to the event.
Even though a seasonable chill is expected to be in the air today, the sun is forecast to shine brightly on this annual event. Our thanks to all the participants and the organizers who have worked so hard to make this parade such a special part of the holidays in Lawrence.