On Saturday, October 3, horse carriages will return to Central Park after being away for six months due to the pandemic, reports NY Daily News. Most horses were spending their vacation at out of state farms. Only twelve will initially arrive to ensure social distancing, and the carriages will be sanitized before and after every ride.
Drivers will also be offering free rides to first responders and health care workers.
Veteran horse carriage operator Colm McKeever told the publication that “The lights are going to come back on in New York City, and we are going to be a part of it”, further stating that “This is a great moment of hope. There’s a symbolism to seeing a horse-drawn carriage going down the street.”
Another driver, Christina Hansen, told the Daily News that “With everything else canceled — the Rockettes, Broadway, no Macy’s Parade, no Times Square ball drop — we can at least be the one, real, non-virtual New York City Christmas tradition still open.”
Both carriage drivers and fans of the New York tradition have been rejoicing. NY Daily News states that a “dry run” on Thursday drew crowds of people asking for rides before the weekend.
??Carriage drivers brought horses back to Midtown – this pic shows a carriage driver yesterday with NO mask on, near a woman with no mask by the horse. In March carriage drivers handed out filthy, shared blankets to passengers & now they are back acting recklessly. @NYCMayor pic.twitter.com/89qRe4ii7D
— NYCLASS (@nyclass) October 2, 2020