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Wissahickon Day Parade

Due to the Pandemic, the 2021 Wissahickon Day Parade was cancelled

We hope to celebrate the 100th Anniversary of this historic event in 2022

The parade is the oldest annual equine parade in the US and is sponsored by the Wissahickon Valley Riding and Driving Association (WVRDA).

Each year, riders and drivers assemble at the Northwestern Equestrian Facility and parade down Forbidden Drive in celebration of equestrian activities, the Wissahickon Creek and the preservation of this historical trail.


photo5The Wissahickon Day Parade is a celebration of the 1920’s protest which caused the naming of Forbidden Drive. In 1921, the president of the Fairmount Park Commission, E.T. Stotesbury proposed opening all park roads to automobile traffic.  This proposal met the protest of the Philadelphia Riders and Drivers Association which now is known as the Chestnut Hill Riders and Drivers of the Wissahickon.  In their protest, they launched a “Save the Wissahickon” campaign.  The campaign resulted in almost 1,000 people on horseback and in horse drawn carriages marching down the Wissahickon Turnpike to show their support for keeping the park free of automobiles.  The equestrians were supported by 12,000 spectators.  Because of their successful defeat of the proposal, Wissahickon Turnpike became known as Forbidden Drive.