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Nitro to celebrate centennial with all-horse parade

The City of Nitro will celebrate a century of history on Saturday, May 13, with the Nitro Centennial All-Horse Parade.

The parade will be held at noon and be followed at 2 p.m. with the dedication of Nitro’s new Living Memorial Park.

“People love to see horses in a parade, so they should love this parade filled with horses,” Susan Valleau, parade organizer, said in a media release. “Many horses served alongside soldiers in both World War I and World War II. This parade will honor both the veterans and the horses. We call on all horse owners who want to participate to register soon.”

Along with horses, ponies, donkeys and mules, as well as wagons and sulkies, will be welcome in the parade. Cash prizes totaling $1,700 and other prizes will be awarded for the best: rider in a World War I doughboy solider costume, rider in a World War II soldier costume, wagon decorated in a theme for either World War I or World War II, patriotically decorated horse and rider and patriotically decorated group of five or more riders. Prizes also will be awarded to the youngest and oldest riders.

The All-Horse Parade is one in a series of events this year to celebrate Nitro’s founding a century ago by the federal government as a center for manufacturing gunpowder for World War I. About 2,500 horses, including about 500 riding horses and about 1,500 working horses, were used in the creation of Nitro. The community also had a mounted police force. The dedication of Nitro’s Living Memorial Park after the parade also will be part of the series of centennial events.

The parade will begin and end at Pickens Road west of the railroad tracks on the northern end of Nitro. The parade route will be two miles long. All participating horses must have negative Coggins test results. Any horses from outside West Virginia must have health certificates.

More information about the parade and registration for it is available by calling 304-721-9800 or emailing


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