Vintage carriage rides reign in the visitors

Hang on for a minute...we're trying to find some more stories you might like.


Email This Story






Clip, Clop, Clip, Clop; that’s the noise you hear during the hometown holidays event when the horse-drawn carriages run by. They are filled with people from Stillwater and all over enjoying the holiday season.

Downtown Stillwater hosted the event Hometown for the holidays to get people in the spirit of Christmas. One thing that was part of this event was a vintage horse-drawn carriage that people can ride on for free. The carriage rides were held downtown starting at the Dock Cafe. They last for about seven to eight minutes and were offered for about three hours on Dec. 12 and 19 from 1-4 in the afternoon. 

Families can come to town to shop and enjoy the town and also take a ride on the free carriage.

“It’s more families, mom and dad take the kids in town and spend money, and have fun, and go out for dinner, and go on a free wagonette ride,” John C. Block, the owner of the carriage business said.

The rides are offered for free to support shoppers in Stillwater and help bring the community together and enjoy the holiday spirit.

We have kids, so it’s a way to be a part of the community and see the town in a different way than through the glass of a car. And it’s how people used to travel, so it’s kind of neat to see what that must have been like.”

— Dustin Bolin

“I think what the event really will do for Stillwater is make people feel like they are appreciated when they come into downtown to buy and when you give something back, like a carriage ride, even as small as that is it makes people feel part of the community,” Block said.

The event seemed to be a popular one due to the amount of people that come for a ride. Block, the owner of the carriages said they often stay for an hour extra than the time they were scheduled for so that all the people are able to get a ride.

Block said, “People will come from all over, Duluth, Superior, Wabasha, Mankato, we had a couple from Iowa come up here too.”

JohMar Farms brings horses and reindeer along with a carriage from Marine, where their business is located, to Stillwater to make this event happen. They do many events like this all year long for holidays like christmas and Valentine’s day, or whatever else people have in mind.

“We do rides all over the Twin Cities area. We do horse rides, donkey rides, and reindeer. We do weddings, we have antique vehicles, wagonettes, carriages, sleighs, and all kind of stuff like that,” John’s daughter Heidi Block said.

The horses used are made for this kind of job. They are called Percherons and can easily pull the carriage even with a lot of people in it.

John said, “These horses are Percherons and they’re big. But they can move the wagon with 25 people in it so easily, and they’re really quiet and that’s the kind of horses I like to use. They’re names are Cole and Tony.”

The experience is different than most shared in the holiday season due to its unusual way of traveling. This event gives people a different experience while bringing the holiday spirit to the town.

“We have kids, so it’s a way to be a part of the community and see the town in a different way than through the glass of a car. And it’s how people used to travel, so it’s kind of neat to see what that must have been like,” carriage passenger Dustin Bolin said.

The vintage horse-drawn carriage rides are just one more way that Stillwater shares the holiday spirit with the community.

 

Print Friendly, PDF & Email