Horses steal show at Danada Fall Fest

  • Clara King, 10, of Wheaton paints a pumpkin Sunday during the annual Danada Fall Festival in Wheaton. Besides traditional fall fest activities like hay rides and pumpkin decorating, the fest featured a chance for visitors to get up close with many breeds of horses.

    Clara King, 10, of Wheaton paints a pumpkin Sunday during the annual Danada Fall Festival in Wheaton. Besides traditional fall fest activities like hay rides and pumpkin decorating, the fest featured a chance for visitors to get up close with many breeds of horses. Mark Black | Staff Photographer

  • Kotryna Vanagas, 8, of Downers Grove paints a life-size plastic horse Sunday during the annual Danada Fall Festival in Wheaton.

    Kotryna Vanagas, 8, of Downers Grove paints a life-size plastic horse Sunday during the annual Danada Fall Festival in Wheaton. Mark Black | Staff Photographer

  • The Midwest Renegades Equestrian Drill Team perform Sunday during the annual Danada Fall Festival in Wheaton.

    The Midwest Renegades Equestrian Drill Team perform Sunday during the annual Danada Fall Festival in Wheaton. Mark Black | Staff Photographer

  • Risandi Magalage, 10, of Wheaton pets "Piper" the horse Sunday during the annual Danada Fall Festival in Wheaton.

    Risandi Magalage, 10, of Wheaton pets "Piper" the horse Sunday during the annual Danada Fall Festival in Wheaton. Mark Black | Staff Photographer

 
Daily Herald report
Updated 10/8/2017 5:22 PM

Celebrations of autumn usually play off some familiar themes.

Pumpkins. Changing colors. Hay rides. Costumes. Scarecrows.

 

A lot of those things were on display Sunday during the Fall Festival at the Danada Equestrian Center in Wheaton, but what really set this party apart was its emphasis on horses. Lots and lots of horses.

Sponsored by the Forest Preserve District of DuPage County, the fest started more than 30 years ago and is the district's largest single special event, often drawing around 12,000 visitors.

On Sunday, those folks could paint pumpkins and take hayrides -- just like most fall festivals -- but they also could enjoy a parade of horse breeds and get an up-close look at many of the animals.

The setting, of course, is ideal because the equestrian center once served as a training estate for Dan and Ada Rice's racehorses. Visitors on Sunday were able to visit the barns as well as the Rice's former house, which featured the Friends of Danada Nature Art and Photo Show.

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