Huge crowd watches annual horse parade


By Ryan Berry

GREENVILLE — We can’t say the 20th annual Hometown Holiday Horse Parade went off without a hitch. In fact, there were plenty of hitches, solo riders and a couple of bands that made the parade memorable.

The weather was nearly perfect, and spectators enjoyed it. From the former Lo-Bills parking lot to the Traffic Circle, spectators filled every gap, several rows deep, making the 2023 version of the parade one of the most attended parades over the past two decades.

Houston High School Marching Band kicked off the parade with a mini-concert in front of the Darke County Courthouse. A few minutes later, Greenville High School’s Band of Pride marched down the parade route bringing in the season with Christmas music.

There were 82 units participating in the final parade chaired and coordinated by Diana Stebbins. This was Stebbins’ 13th parade at the helm.

Solo riders were featured first and then the minis had an opportunity to shine. They were quickly followed by carriages and buckboards with beautiful horses leading the way. This year’s parade marshal, Matt Light and his family, were carried in a beautiful white carriage. Light was chosen as parade marshal because of the “positive impact he has had on our community in connecting young audiences to the outdoors. Congratulations Matt and thank you for all you and your team at The Light Foundation has done for the youth of Darke County and beyond,” said Stebbins.

The parade culminated with the arrival of Santa Claus in downtown Greenville. Santa will be visiting with children at his new home at Rotary Park, just off the Traffic Circle in downtown Greenville. The city’s street department constructed his new home, and the park looks like it came straight from the North Pole. Santa will be available Thursdays and Fridays from 6-8 p.m., Saturdays from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m., and Sundays from noon to 2 p.m. through Christmas Eve.

To contact Daily Advocate Editor Ryan Berry, email [email protected].

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