2019 Entry Instructions

Parade Date: August 31, 2019

Plan to be in the staging area by: 11:00 am if you would like to be judged

Sun Valley Road Closure: 12:30 pm

Parade Start Time: 1 pm


Please read carefully. 

  • Please read all signage and follow flaggers.

  • All entries will stage at the Horseman’s Center Pasture, across the street from the ice rink on Dollar Road in Sun Valley.

  • Upon entering Ketchum, turn east onto Sun Valley Road. From Sun Valley Road, turn right onto Dollar Road. The Registration/Staging Area is located on your right at the entrance to the Horseman’s Center Pasture.

  • There is no entry at the Horseman’s Center from Sun Valley Road. All entries are from Dollar Road. Follow traffic directors and signage.

  • All entries must check in at the Registration/Staging area. You will receive your registration packet upon check-in.

  • You may enter the staging area anytime after 8 a.m. Wagon Days volunteers will lead you to your numbered staging areas.

  Only vehicles towing horse trailers will be allowed into the staging area.

Reserved parking for entries driving passenger cars is located at the entrance to Registration/Staging. 

  • All persons entering the staging area will be required to sign a liability waiver in order to enter Sun Valley Company property (staging area) if you are unwilling to sign this waiver you will not be able to participate in the parade.

Parade Guidelines

The following guidelines have been established to ensure the well-being of horses and the safety of parade participants and spectators of the Big Hitch Parade.

As safety is the primary concern, all participants must be experienced parade riders.

There will be no exceptions!

Participants are asked to follow these guidelines in order to protect horses and people in the parade from injury. Parade officials will ensure compliance with these guidelines. Any rider or animal deemed unsafe will be removed from parade.

Drivers of all wagons, carriages, stages, hitches or other vehicles pulled by horses may be required to take training classes, if parade officials deem necessary.

  • Due to safety concerns, no tossing of candy or other items to spectators.

  • All units must maintain a forward motion.

  • All horses must be properly trimmed or shod.

  • Only experienced riders who have previous experience riding on their own horse in another parade will be permitted in the parade.

  • Horses must be in good condition for the possible heat, and the long walk.

  • Horses must be sound, with no evidence of lameness.

  • A veterinarian must be on call to immediately respond to any injuries.

  • Mistreatment, rough handling or abuse of horses will not be tolerated.

  • Any overly excited horse will be asked to leave the parade by parade officials.

  • Mounted riders are not allowed to pick up spectators during the parade.

  • Only one rider per horse is permitted.

  • Horses should be kept a minimum of six to ten feet from spectators.

  • During the parade, participants should never get closer than twenty feet from preceding parade participant.

  • Anticipate that horses may become excited or spooked by loud music, marching bands, explosive devices, wind-blown paper or streamers.

  • The use of cigarettes, alcohol or illegal substances are forbidden.

  • No profanity along the parade route.

Parade Participant Red Barn Camp

In order to camp or park overnight, you must be participating in the parade.  If you requested to camp, you are required to have a RED overnight parking pass for each vehicle.

  • Pass will be issued when you arrive. Please provide your assigned entry number at the gate.

  • Overnight camping is located in the pasture behind the Red Barn on Sun Valley Road, which is just beyond the Idaho Power Water Wheel on the right. The entrance is just beyond the Red Barn.

  • Camping is allowed on Friday and Saturday nights only. No entry prior to noon on Friday. Plan to vacate Sunday morning. Absolutely no fires are allowed.

  • All Red Barn campers will be required to sign a liability waiver in order to stay on Sun Valley Company property. If you are unwilling to sign this waiver please make other arrangements for camping.


If you choose to have your entry judged please read the instructions below.

 Pre-judging is required for entries in the new wagon, restored/original wagon, carts, buggies and carriage categories. 

 Pre-judging will take place at 11 a.m. 

  • Entries will not be required to be in costume or have horses hitched for pre-judging.

  • All categories, including the pre-judged wagons, will be judged during the parade. The Judging Stand is on Sun Valley Road in front of the Idaho Power Water Wheel.


Prizes for all categories will be awarded at the post parade picnic following the parade.

First place plaques and monetary prizes will be awarded:  $300 for first place, $200 for second place and $100 for third place.  We reserve the right to combine or create categories.

Local Resident Groups

To minimize the number of cars at the Registration/Staging area, meet your group elsewhere and carpool.  There is limited parking available and drop offs increases the congestion.  You may drop off at the Community School Parking Lot and meet your party there after the parade.  Provide your entry number to all group members before parade day for ease at check-in.

Entries Renting Wagons and Teams

Arrive early and come prepared to clean seats on the wagons and load straw bales, if you are in need of them.   All will be located in the Registration/Staging area. 

Entry Numbers

At check-in, you will receive two signs with your designated entry numbers.  Fasten them toward the front of your wagon, on the right and left hand sides of your entry. The announcing stands are located at:

  • Sun Valley Road near the Horseman’s Center

  • Bitterroot Road and Sun Valley Road

  • Across the street from the Red Barn on Sun Valley Road

  • St. Thomas Episcopal Church (Sun Valley Road)

  • The Elephant’s Perch (corner of Sun Valley Road and East Avenue)

  • Zion's Bank (corner of Sun Valley Road and Main Street)

  • Formula Sports on Main Street

  • Backwoods Mountain Sports on Main Street

Please keep an approximate fifty feet between each entry while in the parade.  Help us keep the parade moving and free of gaps.  Wagon, buggies/carriages, and carts will receive  entry signs.  Signs do not need to be returned. 

Emergency Services/Toilets/Water

  • The City’s ambulance team and emergency medical technicians will be at the Registration/Staging Area.

  • Portable toilets are located in the Red Barn pasture and the Registration/Staging area.

  • Please bring your own drinking water.

  • Water for horses is located at the Red Barn and Registration/Staging area.

Signage and Decoration of Wagons

Several guidelines must be followed to maintain the authenticity of the parade. The guidelines below apply to all, including political candidates and their team.

  • Signs may be no larger than 2' x 3'. Entry may have 2 signs (2' x 3') or one sign no larger than 4’ x 6’.

  • All political candidates and partners must wear western attire.

  • Signage will be provided for sponsor entrants.

  • No political literature, candy or similar items along the parade route. Entrants passing out candy will be asked to leave the parade.



Parade Participant Picnic and Award Ceremony

We hope you will join us after the parade for a complimentary lunch for all parade entries.

  • Lunch ticket will be provided at the registration desk.

  • Each person that rides in the parade will receive a lunch ticket. If you have friends or family that would like to attend the picnic with you, tickets may be purchased for $5 each. Thank you for cooperating! Please help us continue to provide a free lunch for the parade participants by purchasing a lunch ticket for guests. The rising costs of food and serving unpaid guests increases our picnic budget significantly. We would like to continue this tradition.

  • The picnic takes place at Festival Meadow, which is a vacant lot next door to the Catholic Church - an easy walk from the parade staging area.

  • Awards will be announced and ribbons will be distributed at the picnic. Checks for monetary prices will be mailed.

Other Events and Activities

Visit www.wagondays.com for a schedule of events.  Events and activities are presented valley wide, all weekend long.  We hope that you enjoy your stay.

We are delighted to have you with us this year!