Christmas carolers on horseback
A group of horse-riding carolers get ready to sing a song on Wednesday afternoon on Newton Street. (Photo by Brad Fuqua/Philomath News)

Finishing up their rendition of “Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer” in front of a home on Newton Street Wednesday afternoon, a resident called out from her front door, “Thank you … this is awesome, I love it!”

A group of horse lovers decided to take to the streets of Philomath to spread a little Christmas cheer — perhaps an extra treat for both singers and listeners during a challenging 2020.

“So joyful today,” participant D’Ann Ledbetter said. “I’ve never done anything like this. A lot of people are surprised.”

YouTube video
The group sings “Frosty the Snowman” Dec. 23 while on Newton Street in Philomath. (Video by Brad Fuqua/Philomath News)

On Tuesday, a couple of families that live on the same road got permission to park their horse trailers at Marys Peak True Value and embarked on a singing tour around the area.

“We parked there and went through Human Bean and went all the way down Applegate singing to anybody who would come out,” Ledbetter said. “Then we went down to Out West (Farm and Ranch store) and then went back and did all of the stores in the True Value parking lot.”

The group of participants grew for Wednesday’s rounds and they decided to start a bit earlier to avoid after-dark temperatures. They got permission to park at a neighborhood church and started singing through the neighborhood.”

“Today, we put out the big invite and got a lot more horse friends out here and we are spreading Christmas cheer. We collected Mr. Mayor (Eric Niemann) and we’ve got our official reindeer pooper-scooper person. … Gotta clean up this town, you know,” Ledbetter laughed.

The impact of COVID-19 has impacted all facets of life, including horse lovers.

“That was how this all got going,” Ledbetter said about the idea. “All of the events that we do for 4-H were canceled and we’re not allowed to do anything — the arenas won’t let us come ride, so we are out doing what we can do.”