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Wissahickon Day Parade

Due to the Pandemic, the 100th Wissahickon Day Parade is cancelled

We hope to celebrate next year for the 100th!

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.

Need more info? Email us.

Horse Show and Parade

Registration for both events begins at 8:30 AM
  1. Junior English WT – Walk, trot both directions
  2. Junior English WTC – Walk, trot, canter both directions
  3. Senior English WT – Walk, trot both directions
  4. Senior English WTC – Walk, trot, canter both directions
  5. Junior/Senior Western WJ –Walk, jog both directions
  6. Junior/Senior Western WJL – Walk, jog, lope both directions
  7. Carriage – Single/Pair; 2 and 4 wheel vehicles
  8. Stable Group – 3 rider minimum

Junior classes are for riders aged 17 and younger. Senior classes are for riders aged 18 and over.


The Parade starts at 12:00 PM, departing from Harper’s Meadow. Line-up starts with carriages, in front of Northwestern Equestrian Facility (NWEF) at approximately 11:45 AM. Riders fall in line behind the carriages starting at Harper’s Meadow. The Parade travels to Forbidden Drive and continues along the Drive to the judging area at Valley Green Inn.


For a class project, Taisje Claiborne covered the 91st Annual Wissahickon Day Parade.