Festival of Trees Holiday Parade

Al Schneckloth of Eldridge, left and Cindy Textor of Cedar Rapids rode the Wells Fargo stagecoach through the 2012 Quad-City Arts Festival of Trees Holiday Parade Saturday November 17, 2012 in downtown Davenport, Iowa. (Nick Schmidt for the QUAD-CITY TIMES)

Nick Schmidt

Al Schneckloth of Eldridge and Cindy Textor of Cedar Rapids rode a Wells Fargo stagecoach in 55 events all over the country last year.

“It is a great way to spend a weekend,” Textor said Saturday morning.

But the Quad-City Arts Festival of Trees Holiday Parade in downtown Davenport was extra-special for Schneckloth, what with it being so close to home.

“It is pretty cool,” he said while holding the reins of four horses and waiting for word on when they could join the parade route.

He said there are 12 Wells Fargo stagecoaches across the country that participate in parades and other special events throughout the year. In each case, those who drive the stagecoaches get to house them and care for the horses at their home. Schneckloth has been doing this for five years.

“This is my first time doing this parade,” he said. “I did the parade in Rock Island four or five years ago. Last week, we were in Birmingham, Ala., and we are going back to Alabama next week.”

He said his stagecoach is an exact replica of the original Wells Fargo version that dates to the 1850s and is famous for transporting people all over the country at that time in addition to being the victim of an occasional holdup.

“They do have some of the originals, but don’t use them for the parades,” he said of the bank company.

Textor accompanies Schneckloth at each event. But because this was a local parade for him, Schneckloth’s son and a friend came along to help. And they came in handy, holding onto the reins while the horses waited to enter the procession.

“The horses really enjoy this. You can just tell. I like to keep them all happy,” Schneckloth said.