GREENVILLE — Mainstreet Greenville’s 14th annual Hometown Holiday Horse Parade was canceled Saturday evening due to inclement weather.
The Greenville area suffered strong winds, flash floods and power outages throughout the evening.
“We’re very disappointed to have to cancel the Horse Parade,” Mainstreet Greenville director Crysta Hutchinson said shortly following the announcement. “The safety of the parade participants, spectators, and horses is our top priority, however, and with the threat of severe weather we felt the best decision would be to cancel the parade for this year.”
Unlike some downtown events, the Horse Parade cannot be easily moved to another day.
“Due to the large amount of advanced planning and coordination required between Main Street Greenville, the Police Department, Fire Department, Street Department, and our many volunteers and participants, there is no way to reschedule,” Hutchinson said.
Dick Brown was set to be this year’s Grand Marshal at the popular downtown event. Brown is president of the Greenville High School Alumni Association, and is well known for his home’s yearly Christmas displays.
“We wanted to recognize Mr. Brown’s commitment to the community and the schools and everything he’s done over the years,” Hutchinson said. “The Grand Marshal is sort of like our guest of honor, and we thought it was a great way to publicly recognize his contributions and all that he has given.”
The first Hometown Holiday Horse Parade was held in 2004. The event was voted best parade in the state by readers of Ohio Magazine in 2015 and 2018. Participants from Kentucky, Indiana, and all over Ohio typically drive multiple hours to take part in the celebration, according to Hutchinson.
Future events planned by Mainstreet Greenville over the coming months include this week’s Small Business Saturday, which highlights the importance of shopping at downtown, locally owned businesses; a special Christmas-themed First Friday set for December 1, from 6 to 9 p.m.; and the ongoing Win the Window Contest, in which shoppers at participating businesses downtown earn one ticket for every five dollars spent. Holders of the winning ticket get over $2,500 worth of prizes currently on display in the window of the Darke County Visitors Bureau. Drawing for the winner will take place December 19.
In the meantime, Hutchinson urged participants to look forward to next year’s Horse Parade.
“We hope everyone will join us next year for the 15th Annual Hometown Holiday Horse Parade!” Hutchinson said.