All Horse Parade kicks off fair fun Sunday
Delaware County Fair runs Sept. 14-21; Little Brown Jug set Sept. 19
On Diane Winter's calendar, the most wonderful time of the year actually occurs twice every year.
She looks forward to September just as much as Christmastime, because the last few days of summer are all about horse parades, fried food, fair rides and harness racing.
"We've always said that it's Christmas twice a year in Delaware, because the fair, the parade and the Little Brown Jug and all the different events that surround it make the celebration so big," said Winter, a fair board member who has led the All Horse Parade committee for the last 26 years.
The annual All Horse Parade, the official kickoff to the Delaware County Fair, will make its way through the streets of Delaware next Sunday, Sept. 8.
More than 400 riders and their horses dressed in full show attire -- some even depicting characters from westerns or Disney movies -- will step off from the fairgrounds at 3 p.m. and head east on Pennsylvania Avenue. The parade, which attracts about an estimated 40,000 spectators each year, then will move south on Sandusky, west on Winter Street, north on Liberty Road, west on Lincoln Street and north on Euclid Avenue before returning to the fairgrounds.
In its 28th year, the parade will feature at least 27 different breeds of horses from all over Ohio, some of which will pull antique carriages and trailers. Winter said the highlights of this year's antique items include a 100-year-old horse-drawn taxi that was used in Delaware.
"As the people start hearing the Dynamic Mention Drum Corps come down the street, it's exciting for people riding in the parade to see people coming out of their houses and backyards, and that excitement starts to spread to little kids and adults -- you can see it on their faces," said Winter, who will ride a paint horse in this year's parade.
"People know when the parade gets here that they have to get the tickets bought to go to the fair or they have to get their camper ready to move up to the fair," she said. "They just know they've got a week left, so the parade is a big crescendo."
The Delaware County Fair will run Saturday, Sept. 14, through Saturday, Sept. 21, with the Little Brown Jug highlighting the week Thursday, Sept. 19.
For more information about the fair and to purchase tickets for the Little Brown Jug, visit delawarecountyfair.com.