A Currier & Ives Sunday in Stockbridge
Photographs by Lisa Cenis
Long before snow tires and four-wheel drive, the residents of our region travelled by horse-drawn sleighs during the winter. The Colonial Carriage & Driving Society will recreate those bygone days on Sunday, January 16, at The Winter Classic Sleigh Rally at Orleton Farms in Stockbridge. (The event was postponed from the previous week because there was not enough snow, which should not be a problem this weekend, but the society’s president, Harvey Waller, says spectators should double check the society’s website on Sunday morning to make sure the conditions are favorable.) He has lined up some two dozen antique sleighs that will compete in thirteeen different classes. The most photogenic competition is the Currier & Ives class in which participants are judged by how well they create a picture of days gone by; the most difficult is the Pleasure Obstacle Pace which tests a driver’s ability to negotiate a cross country course with obstacles at an optimum time. “The Sleigh Rally began about eight or nine years ago as an event for sleigh owners and then we decided to invite the public too,” says Waller, whose society organizes the annual Coaching Weekend in Lenox every fall. Waller notes that competition is not the main point of the event. “It’s really about depicting the Victorian moment with sleighs,” says Waller, who is also president of the Carriage Association of America. He has a collection of 40 restored horse-drawn vehicles at Orleton Farm that visitors can view on Sunday. “There will be a bonfire, a tent with heaters and food for sale, and sleigh rides for spectators, too,” he says.
The Winter Classic Sleigh Rally
Sunday, January 16
Parade of Sleighs - 11 a.m.
$5 per person
$3 (12 years to 5 years)
Under 5 free
Related post: “Dressed for Chill at the Stockbridge Sleigh Rally” (January 10, 2010)