Yes, you read that correctly… 2007. This is a “flash back” post of sorts. Not something I plan to do often, but I so enjoyed this event that I wanted to share a bit of it with the world. Having grown up on the Mississippi Gulf Coast, just an hour away from New Orleans, REAL parades set a pretty high standard in my mind and heart! As a result, I’m not often impressed by community parades. THIS parade was impressive, indeed…
Apparently Enid has an annual parade every September, but for the Oklahoma Centennial in 2007 they really went “all out”! We had just moved to Texas a few months before and scheduled our first trip up to Enid, where my parents were living at the time and where my sister and her family still live, to coincide with their city-wide celebration.
As the title implies, this will be a series of posts. The parade was HUGE! Too big, by far, to limit it to one large post, so I’ll try to do it in three. There might end up being a fourth or fifth post from that same trip, including photos from the Covered Wagon Rendezvous at the Garfield County Fairgrounds, but the first three will be just the parade itself! Honestly, it was like several parades rolled into one. It started off with a herd of long horns coming down the road!!! Yes, they walked these beautiful bovines through down town streets with handlers on horseback as escorts…
We had just moved to Texas a few months prior to attending this event, so I was unfamiliar with the Fort Worth Stockyards and their herd which is paraded through the stockyard on a regular basis. I was completely awe struck by seeing these magnificent animals walking down the street as pretty as they pleased! I mean look at them… they are HUGE! Their presence really set the tone for the rest of the parade, which was phenomenal.
After the longhorns came equines of all kinds. There were dozens upon dozens of wheeled units pulled by horses, mules and donkeys. There were carts with rubber tires, ox carts, as well as all kinds of homemade contraptions!
I was naturally drawn to the beautifully matched teams. Looking back, I love that there were so many MULE teams! At the time, we had no plans to have equines of our own here on the farm. Now that we’ve got Millie and Dancer, our two rescued molly mules, I love these photos even more.
Most of my photos are of the more authentic looking carts and carriages. I spent many years playing in an Historic Re-enactment group, so I’m drawn to the more realistic wagons, I suppose. There were many more home made carts and wagons with rubber tires and car seats, but they just weren’t as appealing to me. As you can see in these photos, there were numerous vintage Prairie Schooners, also known as covered wagons, the type of vehicle that many pioneers traveled in as they migrated west. Some of the more interesting units were the pair of restored stage coaches, a surrey, market wagons and a hearse!
I found the fly dressing on this team (above) of white horses particularly fascinating! Oh, and not all of the teams were large draft breeds like these beautiful teams… There were draft mules, standard mules, average-sized donkeys (right) and even a team of Very Small Equines (below)! There was at least one Mammoth Donkey that was being ridden, too.
In addition to the teams pulling wagons and such, there were also outriders and riding groups. For instance, there was a whole crew of cowboys! Look how fine and fancy they’re all dressed… is it 2007 or 1907!?!?! Nice variety of horses they were riding, too. I love the Appaloosa to the far left and the beautiful buckskin seen in the center of this photo!
Since there was such a great number of pioneers and cowboys I must admit that I was quite pleased to see the Native Americans represented in the parade as well. Sadly, the birth of the State of Oklahoma in 1907 was also the end of what had previously been called the Indian Territory… I don’t have any photos of the other Native American riders, I remember there being a “squaw” or two, but this fine looking fellow on his painted pony really caught my eye!
These two ladies (below), and possibly the gentleman, too, were part of a riding group called OHE. You can see they both have a ribbon with those letters hanging from below their reins. I have no idea what OHE is, but the ladies are in lovely historical riding costumes!
So this was the just the beginning of this magnificent parade! With so many bovine and equine passing by, it was inevitable that there would also be many droppings left behind! Don’t worry, before the marching bands and floats rolled through there was a clean up crew!