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Wissahickon Day Parade

We hope to continue this tradition and celebration of horses in 2023. Come back for more details. 

The event is historically held the last Sunday of April, and is the oldest annual equine parade in the US.  Each year, riders and drivers assemble at Northwestern Stables and parade down Forbidden Drive in celebration of equestrian activities, the Wissahickon Creek and the preservation of this historical trail.

History

photo5The Wissahickon Day Parade is a marks a protest which saved Fairmount Park’s iconic Forbidden Drive from development. 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.