Families enjoy hay rides in Old Ballard

Update: Kids and parents alike enjoyed a hay ride down Ballard Ave. Saturday night, singing Christmas carols in the rain. It was all part of the Holidays in Ballard campaign to bring more shoppers to the neighborhood’s retail core.

We put together a little video below.

Volunteers also placed hundreds of luminaries in Old Ballard, Bergen Place and down Market St., glimmering with a holiday glow (the steady rain took its toll on some of the candles as the night went on.) Kids enjoyed treats from many participating businesses, and Java Bean offered free cider, coffee and candy canes. “It seemed like there was a fair amount of people roaming around and shopping, which is great to see,” said a Ballard mom in comments. “I hope this becomes a new Ballard tradition.”

Earlier: It’s the last weekend before Christmas, and this afternoon volunteers will begin lining Central Ballard streets with one thousand luminaries. It’s all part of Holidays in Ballard’s weekend event, which runs from 4 to 8 p.m. tonight — complete with hay rides and treats for the kids. “We’ll start putting together the luminaries at 1 p.m. in Bergen Place,” said Tiffany Gabrel, owner of Mon Petit Shoe and a Holidays in Ballard organizer. “It will be a fun neighborhood work party, and hopefully the start of an annual tradition. Anyone is welcome to come help us light up Ballard. The more the merrier!”

We’ll be there snapping photos, and we’ll post an update later tonight.

Geeky Swedes

The founders of My Ballard

22 thoughts to “Families enjoy hay rides in Old Ballard”

  1. I just went down to pick up my daughter and was pleasantly surprised by a Horse Drawn Buggy and a ba-jillion luminaries…! So pleasant that I'm rallying all of the children and a few neighbors and we're headed down.. Thanks to Tiffany for the vision to initiate such a great tradition.

  2. LOVE the luminarias! What a great idea! Thanks to all who participated to make Market Street so beautiful on this rainy evening!

  3. We were down in Ballard tonight. Even though it was raining off and on, it was a lovely night. Romanza passing out candy in front of their store, Java Bean offering free cider, coffee and candy canes, free horse drawn hay rides, luminaries, etc. It seemed like there was a fair amount of people roaming around and shopping, which is great to see. I hope this becomes a new Ballard tradition. Thanks Tiffany, the businesses who participated, and the others who set this up!

  4. Love the video…especially the sound of the horses hooves hitting the bricks on Ballard Ave. Between that and the lights it lo0ked great, if only it was snowing instead of raining!

  5. Thanks for the video. Wish we'd been there, it looks like it was a lot of fun. Great job Tiffany! Too bad there can't be horse drawn carriage rides/hayrides in Ballard more often.

  6. You know, I don't want to bring everyone down, and I appreciate the thought and effort that went into this, but my impressions of this effort were that it wasn't really that great. At least not from what I saw last night and what I am seeing now.

    Last night, around 7:00, I went down Market Street. What I saw were lines of white paper bags along the sidewalks. A few of the bags had burning candles in them – a couple of the bags themselves were on fire, which elicited more than a few confused looks from passers by – but not many appeared to be going, most appeared to just be soggy paper bags. Those that were lit were not throwing any light, the bags themselves were not really lit up.

    Honestly, it looked more like the aftermath of a Free Meal Day at KFC – it just looked like the street was lined with soggy trash. It didn't look festive or magical to me.

    Now, I don't doubt the sincerity or the motivation of those behind the effort – good on ya for trying. I'm just not sure this really “worked.”

    First of all, a city street, full of cars driving by with their headlights (and with cars parked along the curb), with lighted windows, street lighting, etc, is probably just too bright an environment for this to have much effect – the small amount of light thrown by the candles in the bags (before they became rain-soaked and/or just went out) was not enough to be noticeable – and I was looking for them.

    Second….are there any plans to CLEAN UP afterwards? It's Sunday afternoon, and the streets of Ballard are still lined with what appear to be just a continuous string of soggy little bags of trash? Not festive, not magical – just garbage (as if Ballard's streets don't have enough of that already).

    Honestly, I think this kind of display really only works in some environment where the ambient lighting is low (that's why it works along the path around Greenlake), and if there's rain – that probably makes it even more questionable.

    So, while I appreciate the thought and the effort, I'm not terribly excited with the results. And most of all, I'd really expect that those who participated in leaving the bags along Ballard's streets should make removing them afterwards part of their plan. You know, they're not going to just vanish in the wind and bio-degrade….

    I'm sure I'll be vilified as the ultimate local scrooge for saying this. Happy Festivus to you all.

  7. I drove down though market about 7:30 and I will agree that the bags were extremely soggy (I first though they had been stomped out) and not very noticeable. Maybe it was nicer over by the bell tower?

  8. I, too, had the same experience last night. Most of the bags were collapsing in, only saw a few candles going and people getting out of cars trying to step over them. It was a nice gesture, that's for sure, and wish it had worked better. Maybe different containers for the candles next year that will withstand our weather.
    And when I drove through Ballard today must say it looked like heck with all those paperbags along the curbs. Sure hope by the time I get home, it will have been cleaned up!

  9. It was nice, but, as a Ballard business owner, I have to ask when someone(s) is/are going to collect the wet, ugly, sand filled bags all over the sidewalk that used to be luminaries?

    Today, they are a mess…

  10. I'm going to have to be a little scrooge-y and agree with ballardpilot – I also appreciate the effort, but the luminaria didn't really show up well or create a “magical” effect due to the surrounding bright lights.

    I don't know if anyone else agrees with me, but I wish they'd bring back those big snowflakes they used to hang on Ballard Ave. Those were totally charming.

  11. I understand this event ended early in the evening. Couldn't the organizers have CLEANED up the bags, sand and candles? It really looked awful Sunday. More like a litter explosion, and took away from a what was a positive event.

    I too say bring back those charming snowflakes. What happened to those?

  12. would love to support stores in Ballard..the only time we are able to is on the weekends. What a shame we can never find parking and Seattle City light decided that today, Sunday..the ;ast weeken to shop before CHrostmas was a good day to block off over 50+ spaces on 24th street parallel to old Ballard. We drove around for 10 minutes before we gave upand went elsewhere to fininsh our shopping…so disappointed!

  13. e/c, keep in mind that the city wants to make life as miserable as they possibly can for anyone who dares to own a car. All part of the plan. If that means another small business in Ballard goes belly up, well, that's the price of progress.

    I thought it was a pretty odd time for City Light to be out there working, too.

  14. I picked up about 50 wet destroyed white bags with melted wax infused dirt in them during the course of the day yesterday. It twas quite the ugly mess and NOT very Christmas like at all.

    I have about 30 candles that did not light. Who wants them? Who did they belong to in the first place?

  15. Actually these are called “Luminarios” and are an old Spanish tradition in New Mexico…a place in the desert where it does not rain in December. This is one Christmas tradition that does not translate to the soggy Pacific Northwest. I saw the remnants yesterday on Market and thought it was a laughable, ridicuous mess made by someone who saw the idea in Sunset magazine and didn't do any further homework.

  16. When the bike trial is finished you can ride your bike, which will be a wise option since the trail as planned will eliminate a great deal of available parking.

  17. We attended this with a 6 year old & a 10 year old. The draft horses were a huge hit & it was alot of fun to take a little hay ride in old Ballard, even in the rain. Christmas carols could be heard from the passengers & from the carolers in park, & the mood was definitely festive.

    Maybe the luminaries are better suited to the darker S. side of Market Street & you could get a couple street musicians on the N. Side, to keep the holiday spirit flowing. It was a charming idea & coulde easily be improved upon with a little practice. I'm sure the clean up could be ironed out. Free coffee in the am to the clean up crew?

    Anyways this born in Ballard gal thinks it was a keeper. Thanks to the Ballard merchants for putting it together & I'm going down to buy something from someone right now!

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