Lebanon hosts Ohio’s largest horse-drawn carriage parade this weekend

Nearly 70,000 spectators are expected to gather in downtown Lebanon Saturday, Dec. 4, for the city’s most beloved holiday tradition - the annual Lebanon Carriage Parade and Christmas Festival.

The event, in its 32nd year, returns after being canceled last year due to the coronavirus pandemic.

The original Christmas Festival committee members, who shared the vision of starting the annual Carriage Parade, included Steve Foster, Sheila Denny, Gayle Froelich, Pat Arnold South, Sylvia Thompson Outland and Emmor Baily.

What makes the event unique is the parade is made up of horses, carriages and wagons or carts. There are no riders on horseback or motorized vehicles.

ExploreAre you ready for all the holiday events?

In fact, Lebanon’s horse-drawn carriage parade is unique in that it is one of only a few in the entire country. In the entire Midwest, the Lebanon Carriage Parade and Christmas Festival is the only exclusively horse-drawn carriage parade of its size.

The festivities will include live entertainment, food and craft vendors along East Mulberry Street from 10 a.m. to 8 p.m. and two parades in historic downtown Lebanon at 1 p.m. and 7 p.m.

Each parade will feature over 100 decorated carriages pulled by Clydesdales, Belgians, miniatures and show horses. Many of the drivers are also dressed in costume.

ExploreSkate your way into the holidays

Each parade will last about an hour. The two-and-a-half to three-mile parade route circles throughout the downtown Lebanon central business district. The parade kicks off at the corner of Broadway and Oakwood in front of Berry Intermediate School.

In between the parades, entertainment will include live performances, Christmas carolers, train rides on the Lebanon Mason Monroe Railroad’s North Pole Express and pictures with Santa from 10:30 a.m. to noon and 4 p.m. to 6 p.m. Lebanon author Beth Gully will be present for a reading and book signing at the Golden Lamb Gazebo from noon to 1 p.m. and 6 p.m. to 7 p.m.

ExploreExpanded holiday light show returns downtown this week

Attendees can also visit the many boutique and specialty shops located in downtown Lebanon.

Guests can reserve their own private box for the parade at 1 p.m. for $200 on the Lebanon Area Chamber of Commerce’s website. These private boxes are 10 feet by six feet and are located on Broadway from Mulberry Street to Silver Street. Spaces are limited and chairs are not included.


What: 32nd annual Lebanon Horse-Drawn Carriage Parade and Christmas Festival

When: Festival runs from 10 a.m. to 8 p.m. on Saturday, Dec. 4. Two parades will be held at 1 p.m. and 7 p.m.

Where: Downtown Lebanon

Cost: Free admission and parking.

More info: Website | Facebook

About the Authors