The Festival of Trees in Oakdale’s Wood Park on Saturday, Dec. 1 will bring back to town a local legend. Lloyd Stueve, owner of family operated Stueve Organic Dairy Farms near Oakdale, is perhaps best known locally as the ‘bearded guy driving horses’ pulling the hay wagon at the downtown Christmas event and in the annual rodeo parade. He is known more widely in the Western states as the owner and driver, along with his wife, of beautifully matched teams of Percheron horses pulling antique wagons on horse team events from Death Valley to Silver City, Idaho. He has taken his team over Sonora Pass in his interest of historic wagon trains through the Sierras.
The family immigrated to the United States in 1837 and has an enduring interest in protecting the land and healthy farming practices. Stueve is writing a book on modern pioneering.
Stueve’s large Percheron horses were originally bred in France as war horses and became an important asset to the WWI fighting effort in Europe. Percheron horses were widely imported to the USA well before WWI as draft animals working on farms and providing transportation for early settlers and farmers.
The community is welcomed to the Festival of Trees in Wood Park at Yosemite Avenue between F and G streets this Saturday from 4:30 p.m. to 9:30 p.m. and take a trip back in history. Donate a dollar or canned food for charity and board one of two hay wagons for a trip down Sierra Avenue, courtesy of Lloyd Stueve and his Percheron draft horses. This is a great way to get in the holiday spirit and have a memorable experience. Brightly decorated and festive trees will be featured, along with music, food and fun.
For more information on festival activities go to WWW.oakdalefestivaloftrees.com.