Christmas arrives in Dayton on Dec. 6, when the MainStreet Merchants host the 12th annual Horse & Carriage Christmas Parade.
This holiday tradition has grown from its a modest parade to a full day of activities centered at the historic Rhea County Courthouse, capped off with the classic parade in which all vehicles are powered by animals.
Events of the day include:
Christmas Arts Showcase, a juried art show at Art Crafters, from 10 a.m. - 2 p.m.
Christmas at Centennial Park, featuring photos with Santa and a chili meal benefiting the Garrison Volunteer Fire Department from noon - 3 p.m.
Christmas Critters, a pet costume pageant at Centennial Park at 3 p.m.
The Horse & Carriage Parade along Market Street at 5 p.m.
Caroling at the courthouse following the parade
A Taste of Dayton, benefiting the Women's Care Center, at 6 p.m.
The Horse & Carriage Parade was the brainchild of Miss Kitty Groves, who at age 85, decided Dayton needed an old-fashioned Christmas parade. The first parade, in 1997, included six carriages, several groups of carolers, a saddle club, the high school band and a live nativity scene on the courthouse lawn.
The parade—and the crowd—has grown over the years, but it still features vehicles drawn by animals, carolers dressed in period costumes and groups arrayed as everything from Christmas presents to characters from the first Christmas.
For more information or to enter the parade or other event, visit the MainStreet Dayton web site at www.minstreetdayton.org or call (423) 775-9847.