The 2014 annual Wissahickon Day Parade (WDP) will be held on Sunday, April 27th in Fairmount Park. The parade is the oldest annual equine parade in the US and is sponsored by the Wissahickon Valley Riding and Driving Association (WVRDA).
The WDP has a rich history; tradition dictates that only riders and drivers participate, no one walks. This tradition relates to the purpose of the original 1921 parade, which was to protest the proposal to open the main Fairmount Park path to automobiles. A “Save the Wissahickon” campaign rallied hundreds of equestrians and thousands of spectators. Forbidden Drive got its name from the proposal’s defeat, hence cars are ‘forbidden’.
The Parade will start at 12:00, departing from Harper’s Meadow. Line-up will start with carriages, in front of Northwestern Equestrian Facility (NWEF) at approximately 11:45. Riders will fall in line behind the carriages starting at Harper’s Meadow. The Parade will travel to Forbidden drive and continue along the Drive to the judging area at Valley Green Inn.
A Horseshow will precede the parade, with classes held in the outdoor arena of NWEF. The horseshow will start at 10:00 AM. Classes include English, Western, Costume, Stable Group and Carriages. Registration for both the Show and the Parade starts at 9:00 AM.
Spectators can watch the horse show from the bleachers in front of the ring in Harper’s Meadow and Parade viewing is available anywhere along Forbidden Drive. The judging area in front of Valley Green Inn is the most popular Parade viewing site. Picnic areas are available throughout the park. Food and beverages are available at Valley Green Inn. (reservations recommended)
Northwestern Ave will be closed to traffic and parking to accommodate horse trailers and carriages. Parking will be available in the upper lots at Valley Green.
Parade planning continues, for more information or for registration contact