A parade of Foxhunters and hounds will highlight Saturday’s Harvest in the Village festival in downtown Hamilton.
The idea comes from Middleburg, Va. where a similar event in its downtown kicks off the holiday shopping season.
But the foxhunting season starts earlier in Massachusetts and kicks off in late September and runs through Thanksgiving.
“This is something that I have been wanting to do,” said Nick White, a member of the Hunt committee who is organizing the parade. “(In Middleburg) it is something people look forward to.”
The parade also comes in the Hunt’s 13oth year, making it one of the oldest hunts in the country.
While its shares the same names at the club, White said members of the Foxhunt do not need to be members at Myopia Hunt Club.
The foxhunt happens three times a week – Tuesdays, Thursday and Saturdays – and after Saturday morning’s hunt the group will reconvene at the Schooling Fields off Route 1A, next to Patton Park.
The parade is scheduled to kick off at 10:30 a.m.
The foxhunters will all be wearing their “pinks,” the iconic boiled wool Scarlet red Hunt coats.
“This will be the first time this year we will be in our formal outfits,” White said.
The parade will be lead by Huntsman Brian Kiely followed by the two newly elected Masters of the Hunt, Kim Cutler and Ted Mehm along with about “10 couples,” or 20 hounds. Kiley, at the front, will be carrying a traditional horn that is used in foxhunting.
Despite the name, it has been years since the riders have actually hunted foxes. Instead, they “lay a line” of licorice scent and the hounds follow that scent. In Virginia, though, they still hunt coyote and fox, White said.
The parade will also include about 20 mounted horses and make its way out of Patton Park, down Asbury Street to Route 1A, then head southbound to Railroad Avenue up to Willow Street and then north on Willow Street back to Asbury Street and the park.
The inclusion of the Hunt in the Saturday event is designed to show that the hunt has been “integral in the community for years.”
“We want to bring the community into the Hunt and the Hunt into the community,” White said.
The Harvest in the Village Marketplace event in downtown will include about 40 vendors in the downtown Hamilton-Wenham village on Bay Road and Railroad Avenue, according to Selectman Jeff Hubbard.
There will also be music, food and an apple pie baking contest, he said.
The event runs from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. with the parade at 10 a.m.
This story has been updated to indicate the start time of the parade is 10:30 a.m. and to correct the spelling of Brian Kiely's last name.