This is - I promise! - the last post about the Horse Market parade (at least for this year). Throughout the event, there were special moments which I have tried (more or less successfully) to capture on camera.
See what you make of them!
This first one is the symbol for the entire event "Pferdemarkt" (horse market), not just the parade. It involves a fairground with rides and stalls, a trader's market with everything from hair brushes to instant soup to aprons to novelty toys and kitchen devices, a show ground where various performances of horses and riders can be watched, prize-giving ceremonies for horses, pony riding for children, and - yes, actually - the possibility to buy and sell horses.
The painted horse statue stood in the courtyard of Ludwigsburg palace for a long time. It was stolen or damaged, I can't quite remember which, and a new one was made which you can see here; it looks exactly like the old one:
The next special moment was one you could also call a typical special Meike moment... because I almost missed it completely simply because I was telling O.K. a story I had told him at least once before and stood with my back to the road... how daft can one be! Well, I can, and therefore I only caught the last of this pack of dogs that were part of a group of riders all dressed as if for a traditional fox chase.
Until they arrived at the place close to where we were standing, the group had been marching along at the usual parade pace. Then they deliberately paused to create a gap between themselves and the previous group. When the gap was big enough, they made the horses and dogs run - it was pretty impressive, and I could really kick myself for having been so daft to almost miss it!
(Don't get me wrong; I am absolutely against cruel "sports" like fox hunting and so on. But the sight of a group of neatly turned out riders, polished horses and well trained dogs is something else, and in this case, there was no poor animal involved as their prey.)
This Venetian gondola, complete with gondoliere and a couple in Venetian carnival costumes, was to emphasize the old tradition of Ludwigsburg having a "Venetian Fair" every two years, installed by our Duke Carl Eugen in 1768 - precisely 200 years before my birth :-)
What made this moment extra special was that the couple on board the gondola were singing opera arias at the top of their lungs - and they could sing!
Now here is another group representing a special link from Ludwigsburg's past - a group of "Russian" soldiers. I did talk a bit about our link to Russia here.
This carriage carried a sign informing us that it was an old English mail coach:
The old flag of Wuerttemberg, my home state:
A group wearing costumes based on uniforms from the late 1600s, carrying flags which they later threw in the air to the sound of the drums marching behind them; it looked a lot better in real life than what I can show here with static pictures:
The next special moment is one that I could have just as well placed in the "groups" post, among the "Ludwigsburg international" groups. These people are part of the parade every year; they represent the "Happy Sliders". There still exists a German-American Friendship Club, installed at the time when many Americans were living in Ludwigsburg (the years from just after WWII until the early 1990s, when the American Military base here was dissolved and the military people and their family living in our American suburb Pattonville all left and went back to the US). The group promote square dance and really dance along the route of the parade - no mean feat on such a hot day!
This horse sculpture was created entirely out of old horse shoes, by people who live and work at Ludwigsburg's village-sized facility for the mentally and physically handicapped:
The very last group to end the parade were of a more "artsy" nature than all the others:
Yep, that's it - the Horse Market parade done for another year! I hope you enjoyed these "special moments".