LEBANON, OH (FOX19) - If you're looking for an event to truly get you in the Christmas spirit, the 25th annual Lebanon Horse Drawn Carriage Parade and Festival is this weekend.
If you've never been, it's something to cross off of your bucket list.
Approximately 200,000 visitors will converge on the historic streets of historic downtown Lebanon on Saturday to officially kick off the holiday season. There are two parades on Saturday with more than 100 antique carriages decorated in lights, bells and bows. The carriages are pulled by beautiful Clydesdales, Percherons, miniature horses and more.
For Charlie Poppe and his wife, this is an annual tradition. They've participated in the parade every year since it's inception in 1988. Poppe purchased his antique carriage at an auction from the National Parks Service.
During his 25th parade, Poppe said they'll be dressed to the nines. He'll be wearing tie and tails and his wife in white fur! Their carriage will be decorated in silver and gold for the parade's 25th anniversary.
The parade route begins at Berry Intermediate School and circles the downtown area, starting at 1 p.m. and 7 p.m. There's a Christmas Festival between the parades offering food, crafts, costume characters, music and pictures with Santa Claus.
In addition, downtown Lebanon has dozens of special shops and antique stores for gift shopping.
The event is organized by the Lebanon Chamber of Commerce, and there's actually a large planning committee working year-round. According to Poppe, it was started by women who owned shops in downtown Lebanon and wanted a way to promote their stores at Christmas time.
Through word of mouth, the crowds got bigger and bigger each year.
If you're planning on attending the parade with your family, plan ahead. Several streets close prior to the start of the parade and parking spots go quickly.
Read more information on the Lebanon Horse Drawn Carriage Parade & Festival Facebook Page.