Old-fashioned horsepower took center stage on Viroqua’s Wild West Days grounds, Saturday, as teamsters offered bobsled rides in celebration of the holiday season.
Three teams of horses gave families and individuals short rides around the snow-covered grounds. Some riders sang Christmas carols, while others took photos of themselves and the scenery. Visitors could take as many rides as they wished, and warmed up in the Buckeye Saloon, where coffee, hot cocoa and cookies were served. Children could also make a Christmas ornament and sign up to win a teddy bear.
Fritz Perkins of Viroqua, who founded the rides and drove one of the teams, said at least 200 people came to the event. “I was steady all day.”
This is the 10th year the Wild West Days Committee has hosted the rides. When there isn’t enough snow to have bobsleds run, wagon rides are given instead. The event is free of charge, however, freewill donations are accepted to help cover costs.
Perkins said the rides continue to be a tradition because of their simplicity.
“You are getting back to simple fun and everybody loves horses,” he said. “People like the bells on the horses and so many sing ‘Jingle Bells’ (while they ride).”
Perkins said plans are already in the works for next year’s event.
“We hope to go back to closer to Christmas and a chance of more snow,” he said.