STURBRIDGE Old Sturbridge Village (OSV) celebrates the history and the joys of horse-drawn sleigh driving with an old-fashioned sleigh rally on Feb. 4.
Antique horse-drawn sleighs many of them 80 to 120 years old will converge on the village for the sleigh rally, which will begin at 11 a.m. and will feature dozens of drivers competing in a variety of categories, including the popular “Sleigh Dog” and “Currier & Ives” divisions.
The event is open to the public and free with museum admission.
A variety of horses and drivers will be represented at the OSV Sleigh Rally.
Sleighs participating will most likely include bob sleighs, Portland and Albany cutters, racing sleighs, freight sleighs, and more. Bob sleighs have “bobs,” which are double runners that make them more maneuverable and easy to turn sharply. Single runner sleighs can tip over if turned too sharply.
Other winter activities at OSV include ice skating (bring your own skates), horse-drawn sleigh rides around the Common, and sledding on 1830s-style sleds (weather permitting).
After enjoying the museum’s outdoor winter activities, visitors can warm up indoors beside one of the village’s many cozy fireplaces and take part in hands-on crafts and activities. Children can also spend time “pretending” in Old Sturbridge Village’s popular “KidStory” indoor play area.
For Sleigh Rally enthusiast Anne Geyer, of Sturbridge, it is a thrill to drive in a sleigh at a forward trot when conditions are “just right” on a packed, swift snow surface.
“Imagine having the perfect horse and sleigh with a warm sleigh robe and foot warmers by your feet. The sleigh bells and saddle chimes sound terrific. The driving horses love the sound of the bells and show off by carrying themselves proudly. The whole experience of driving a sleigh can be romantic and peaceful, especially at the end of a storm when no one else is out,” she said.
OSV’s winter hours are Wednesday to Sunday from 9:30 a.m. to 4 p.m. (the village is open on all Monday holidays). Beginning March 31, the village will be open seven days a week.
Admission is $24 for adults, $22 for seniors, $8 for children ages 3 to 17 and children younger than 3 are admitted free.
For event details, visit www.osv.org or call 800-SEE-1830.
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