ALBERT LEA, Minn. - This year would be the Sunset Saddle Club's 65th year riding their horses in the Albert Leady July 3rd Parade. They've ridden in the parade every year since the group's formation in 1954. This summer, that tradition may be coming to an end.
Sunset Saddle Club President Heidi Morgan says when she turned in her forms to the Albert Lea Freeborn County Chamber of Commerce for the group to be in the parade, she was informed that animals are not allowed this year. "Very disheartening because what I hear from everybody else, this is why they come for the parade. They want to see the horses," she says.
The Albert Lea Freeborn County Chamber of Commerce tells KIMT that because of two incidents at last year's parade, they are concerned for the safety of people at the parade and the horses. They are rethinking their animal policy.
Morgan says she was not at last year's parade, but the members that were there tell her there were no incidents with their horses.
The Chamber says they are consulting with different experts and researching to determine what is the best way to proceed for this year's parade. A final decision on animal involvement in the parade has not yet been made.
Morgan is hoping the horses will be allowed. "We still sure do want to ride in the parade. We're upset about it but we still want to ride so we will definitely work with them and see what we can do to make this happen."
The Sunset Saddle Club and their horses will be walking in the Morin Lake Days Parade in Alden on Saturday.