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updated: 8/16/2014 6:50 PM

Horses, pageantry take center stage in St. Charles

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  • Magic the horse plants a kiss on Michelle Tuozzo of Huntley at the Festival of the Horse and Drum at the Kane County Fairgrounds in St. Charles Saturday. Magic and her owner, Peggy Gower of Wayne, were walking around the grounds showing off tricks and doling out kisses.

       Magic the horse plants a kiss on Michelle Tuozzo of Huntley at the Festival of the Horse and Drum at the Kane County Fairgrounds in St. Charles Saturday. Magic and her owner, Peggy Gower of Wayne, were walking around the grounds showing off tricks and doling out kisses.
    Laura Stoecker | Staff Photographer

  • Evan Logan of the Ho-Chunk Nation and Wisconsin Dells, Wis., dances during the Pow Wow at the Festival of the Horse and Drum at the Kane County Fairgrounds in St. Charles Saturday. He has been dancing for about 35 years.

       Evan Logan of the Ho-Chunk Nation and Wisconsin Dells, Wis., dances during the Pow Wow at the Festival of the Horse and Drum at the Kane County Fairgrounds in St. Charles Saturday. He has been dancing for about 35 years.
    Laura Stoecker | Staff Photographer

  • Mystic Warrior, a Fresian/Appaloosa mix horse waits to perform at the Festival of the Horse and Drum in St. Charles on Saturday. The rare white horse with black dappling is owned by Joe Trujillo of Wayne.

       Mystic Warrior, a Fresian/Appaloosa mix horse waits to perform at the Festival of the Horse and Drum in St. Charles on Saturday. The rare white horse with black dappling is owned by Joe Trujillo of Wayne.
    Laura Stoecker | Staff Photographer

  • Amy Lusk of Chicago, center, performs with the Diamana Diya West African drum ensemble at the Festival of the Horse and Drum at the Kane County Fairgrounds in St. Charles Saturday.

       Amy Lusk of Chicago, center, performs with the Diamana Diya West African drum ensemble at the Festival of the Horse and Drum at the Kane County Fairgrounds in St. Charles Saturday.
    Laura Stoecker | Staff Photographer

  • Fode Camara of West Africa performs with the West African drum ensemble Diamana Diya at the Festival of the Horse and Drum at the Kane County Fairgrounds in St. Charles Saturday.

       Fode Camara of West Africa performs with the West African drum ensemble Diamana Diya at the Festival of the Horse and Drum at the Kane County Fairgrounds in St. Charles Saturday.
    Laura Stoecker | Staff Photographer

  • Adam Walter, 17, of the Ho-Chunk Nation and Tomah, Wis., dances in the Pow Wow at the Festival of the Horse and Drum at the Kane County Fairgrounds Saturday.

       Adam Walter, 17, of the Ho-Chunk Nation and Tomah, Wis., dances in the Pow Wow at the Festival of the Horse and Drum at the Kane County Fairgrounds Saturday.
    Laura Stoecker | Staff Photographer

  • Magic the horse puckers up to plant a kiss on the cheek of Lily Ocampo, 11, of Wheeling at the Festival of the Horse and Drum at the Kane County Fairgrounds in St. Charles Saturday. Magic and her owner, Peggy Gower of Wayne, were walking around the grounds showing off tricks.

       Magic the horse puckers up to plant a kiss on the cheek of Lily Ocampo, 11, of Wheeling at the Festival of the Horse and Drum at the Kane County Fairgrounds in St. Charles Saturday. Magic and her owner, Peggy Gower of Wayne, were walking around the grounds showing off tricks.
    Laura Stoecker | Staff Photographer

 
 

Kimberly Marqui brought her two horse-loving daughters to the Festival of the Horse and Drum in St. Charles Saturday where they could admire the magnificent animals and see the various cultures represented.

Makaylah, 6, and Brianna, 4, of St. Charles got to take in the pageantry with their mom. Marqui said Makaylah is taking riding lessons and working with horses to help build her confidence.

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"Coming here, it's like a dream come true for her," Marqui said. "To see horses up close, pet them, see them do the dressage ..."

The Festival of the Horse and Drum celebrates cultural diversity as well as different styles of riding throughout the weekend at the Kane County Fairgrounds. The second annual event honors cultures and traditions using horses as a common thread.

There were a variety of horse displays and demonstrations throughout the fairgrounds, as well as areas divided by themes such as a cowboy town, a renaissance village and a Mexican salsa village.

"We bring together all different ethnicities with their horses," event coordinator Lisa Diersen, of St. Charles, said last week. "We are the United Nations of horses and humans."

Noting a Pow Wow going on a few feet away, Marqui said that getting to see cultures that kids normally just read about is another draw. "This is extraordinary," she said.

Horse-related movies are shown at the festival as part of the 2014 Equus Film Festival. Live entertainment is featured at the Horse-A-Palooza stage, where dance troupes and cultural bands perform.

In addition to the festival, auctions raise money for Horses of Honor, which honors fallen police officers, and Operation Support Our Troops, which helps members of the military and their families.

The festival continues from 9 a.m. to 7 p.m. Sunday at the fairgrounds, 525 S. Randall Road.

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