Britt Aamodt

It's lovely weather for a sleigh June

It's lovely weather for a sleigh June | Media List


The Star News (Summer 2005)

It's lovely weather for a sleigh June

by Britt Aamodt

It’s lovely weather for a wagon ride together in June.

Wild Wood Sleigh and Carriage, Burns Township, will be providing free horse-drawn wagon rides to ArtSoup attendees, 10 a.m. to 5 p.m., Saturday, June 18 and 11 a.m. to 4 p.m., Sunday, June 19.

Wagons will pick up passengers at the gazebo downtown and drop them off in front of Handke Stadium, the site of ArtSoup 2005.

“There’s a shortage of parking by Handke,” explained Wild Wood owner Steve Wood. “So, the festival committee wanted people to be able to park downtown and take a wagon back and forth to the festival.”

Wood, whose Morgan horses have shuttled passengers around Lake Orono July 4 festivals and Kelley Farm Preservation Days, expects his wagons to do steady business at ArtSoup.

“There’s an entire generation that hasn’t grown up around horse-powered vehicles,” he said. “And people are always amazed when they feel the horses start to move. They cannot believe how relaxing it is to ride along in this swaying carriage.”

For fifteen years, Wood and his drivers have driven cut-your-own customers to the perfect Christmas tree at Goldenman Christmas Tree Farm in Zimmerman.

“When we first started, we never got off the wagon even to eat lunch,” said Wood. “At Goldenman’s it’s not uncommon for each wagon to carry 700-800 people in a day.”

Wood does not see his wagons as a quaint reminder of the past. Rather, he sees them as a refreshing alternative to fast-moving, fossil-fueled vehicles.

“We have more labor saving devices now than ever before, yet nobody seems to have enough time,” he said. “When people ride a wagon a few blocks and go up front and pet the horse’s nose, they suddenly realize, gosh, maybe we should calm down and not worry about the time. That settles a person’s soul.”

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