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For the week of Sept. 8, 1999 through Sept. 14, 1999

1999 Big Hitch Wagon Days Parade

Express Staff Writer

s8cover250x194.jpg (18571 bytes)The sun came out Saturday and the Wagon Days Big Hitch Parade shined.

Parade organizer Wendy Jaquet admitted she was a little worried about the rain the night before, but that she had faith.

"It never rains on our parade,"Jaquet said. "It turned out to be a beautiful day."

Jaquet said this year’s parade was definitely a big success and that she was pleased with all the new entries.

Members of the Richfield American Legion, dressed in Union Army uniforms, sounded the start of the parade by firing two thundering volleys from a civil war cannon.

And then things got rolling as the largest horse-powered parade in the Northwest pranced and rolled its way down Sun Valley Road and onto Ketchum’s Main Street in a traditional event that drew spectators from all over the country.

Organizers estimated that 15,000 parade goers lined the streets. Some watched from windows, others from rooftops.

This year’s spectacle had 107 entries, which included horses, horses and more horses. Percherons, Belgians, Morgans, Andalysians, Peruvians, Friesians, painted ponies and quarter horses pulled wagons, buckboards, carriages and buggies and carried riders, to the delight of spectators.

Rodeo queens waved to spectators, never losing their smiles. The traditional high school marching bands carried tunes with clashing symbols and tooting horns the length of the parade route. Clowns kept the crowd entertained during gaps and lulls in the procession.

But perhaps the most thrilling spectacle of all was the great and mighty Percherons and Belgians, gentle giant horses weighing in at nearly a ton. Powerful and proud, necks arched, the magnificent animals high stepped down the parade route, pounding the pavement with huge, steel-clad hoofs. Some were spotted gray and adorned with black leather and sparkling silver tack. Others were black with braided manes and red tassels shining in the sun.

The spectacle consummated as Moj Broadie and his grand team of 12 black Percherons, pulling six giant rumbling ore wagons, powered its way down Sun Valley Road and made the turn onto the Main Street of Ketchum.

Behind the last entry of the parade the crowds left their places along the sidewalks and followed the ghostly wagons, remnants from the past, hoping to get one last glimpse of history and the 1999 Big Hitch Wagon Days Parade.


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Copyright 1999 Express Publishing Inc. All Rights reserved. Reproduction in whole or in part in any form or medium without express written permission of Express Publishing Inc. is prohibited.