The Taylor Horsefest will be celebrated for the 25th and final time on Saturday and Sunday, July 28-29. Since its beginning, Horsefest’s mission has been to honor the horse and its impact on western North Dakota history..
“I’d like to thank everybody who helped out over the 25 years in putting it together,” said Duane Urlacher, president of the Taylor Community Activity Association.
Referencing its demise, Urlacher said it’s difficult to find volunteers.
“I have mixed emotions. People looked forward to it -- they planned class reunions and family reunions around it, and I hate to see it go, but it isn’t feasible. It’s tough for people to bring their horses, gas prices are high, they don’t have the time,” he said.
He’s hoping the final Taylor Horsefest will be among the best.
A Horsefest highlight is the parade at 10 a.m. featuring horses, horse-drawn equipment, wagons and buggies. No motorized vehicles are allowed.
Trent Lewis, KFYR news, weather and sports leader for Bismarck-Mandan, will announce the parade. Long-time parade participant Russell Gietzen will bring his horses to pull the vintage farming equipment. Jim Perhus, who has been at all the 25 Horsefest parades, is being recognized by having his horse on the official buttons.
Joe Fritz will be there for the annual training seminar.
After the parade, everyone heads up to Heritage Hill where vendors will set up shop. There will be an array of farrier demonstrations, blacksmith demonstrations and tin smithing demonstrations.
“We welcome everybody,” Urlacher said. “Grandpa and grandma, bring your grandkids and show them how it was done 50 and 60 years ago.”
The afternoon will include demonstrations of mowing, raking and hay stacking, along with binding, discing and corn cultivating. There will be musical entertainment from noon to 4 p.m. in the Red Bar and another musical variety show in the evening.
Of course, the kids will be treated to inflatables, face painting, a petting zoo, dummy roping, and scavenger hunt.
But it’s not all over.
“We’ll keep Heritage Hill going for Good Ole Taylor Days (Sept. 9) and I think we’ll probably incorporate some of the Horsefest events into Good Ole Days,” Urlacher said.
Saturday, July 28
7 a.m. Registration for vendors, exhibitors and demonstrators.
7-9 p.m. Parade registration - north end of Horsefest grounds
8 a.m. to 6 p.m. horse-drawn machinery, food and craft vendors, blacksmith demonstrations,farrier demonstrations.
10 a.m. Parade, featuring horses, horse-drawn equipment, wagons and buggies.
11 a.m. Demonstrations -- binding, disking, corn cultivating
11 a.m. to 2 p.m. Pictorial stamp cancellations, sponsored by U.S. Postal Service.
After parade, pie social at Immanuel Church of Taylor.
Noon to 4 p.m. Musical entertainment in the Red Barn.
12:30 p.m. South arena, an obstacle course
1 p.m. North arena, Joe Fritz, training seminar.
2 p.m. Demonstrations, mowing, raking, hay stacking.
3 p.m. Drawing for bikes.
Evening entertainment at Red Barn: A musical variety show, free admission.
9 p.m. Street dance sponsored by Sit n’ Bull Bar.
Sunday, July 29
7 a.m. to noon. VFW pancake and sausage breakfast, Taylor Opera House.
10 a.m. Non-denominational church service, Immanuel Lutheran Church.
For more information, call 877-757-7545 or visit www.taylorhorsefest.com.