GREENVILLE — The 15th annual Hometown Holiday Horse Parade, hosted by Main Street Greenville, took place Saturday evening with more than 90 horses from Ohio, Kentucky, Indiana and Tennessee.
The event featured entertainment including live music leading up to the parade, which brings thousands of spectators to Greenville each year.
Tina Kessler, of Elida, drove nearly an hour and a half with her husband and two friends in order to attend the parade.
“We saw it advertised on Facebook, and it seemed very appealing,” Kessler said. “I love horses, and it seemed like something different to start the holiday season off.”
The parade was interrupted briefly when Kelly McDaniel-Noe, of Richmond, Indiana, was thrown from her horse. First responders arrived quickly and transported Noe to Wayne Hospital. Noe apparently suffered bruised ribs, a gashed leg and a concussion in the incident.
“I’m extremely sore, but I’m OK,” Noe said in a Facebook post late Sunday morning. “My guardian angel was definitely watching over me last night.”
Event organizers were unable to be reached for comment about the incident before press time.
Sponsors for the parade included local businesses such as Greenville Federal Bank, Edison State Community College and Wayne HealthCare.
“Our commitment to provide quality care and promote wellness close to home is at the forefront of everything we do for the community,” Terri Flood, Wayne HealthCare director of business development and marketing, said in a press release issued earlier this month. “We are proud to support a great event for all to enjoy.”
Greenville Federal CEO Jeff Kniese and Edison Vice President of Regional Campuses Chad Beanblossom expressed similar sentiments.
Mainstreet Greenville executive director Crysta Hutchinson, meanwhile, was enthusiastic about the opportunity to take part in her first Holiday Horse Parade. Though the event is in its 15th year, Hutchinson took over as director of Mainstreet Greenville in 2017; last year’s parade was cancelled at the last minute due to inclement weather.
“This is my second year planning, first year participating,” Hutchinson said. “This event has been going on for a decade and a half, and it really has become a sort of holiday tradition in Greenville. Some other communities have started doing horse parades the last few years, but we’re proud of the fact that we’ve been doing it for 15.”
Hutchinson said she was especially proud of the spirit of cooperation the parade always brings among local businesses.
“I love how it brings downtown Greenville together,” Hutchinson said. “It really kind of kicks off the holiday season, and it’s humbling to see how hard everyone works to welcome this influx of people coming in. It gets very festive downtown very quick.”
Greenville High School Alumni Association president Dick Brown served as grand marshal for this year’s parade while music was provided by performers such as Country Harmony and Chelsea and John.
Announcers at the parade teased a number of other upcoming downtown events, including Small Business Saturday, which takes place Nov. 24, the day after Black Friday; and this year’s Win the Window contest, in which prizes featured in the front windows of the Darke County Welcome Center downtown will be awarded to downtown shoppers. Every $5 spent at a downtown business equals one entry in the final drawing, which will be held Dec. 12.