August 7, 2006 - 3rd Annual Horse Count
A lot of people in Santa Barbara consider the Fiesta Parade to be one of the largest equestrian parades in the nation. Barney Brantingham, who’s supposed to know everyone, and everything about Santa Barbara, asked the question this week, “Who’s counting?”
Duh, Barney. We are.
For the last three years, the dedicated staff of edhat.com has refrained from Fiesta Friday drinking until after the parade,
so we could focus all of our dedicated energy on examining equine, or at least counting them. In fact, in the last three years, we’ve counted every darn horse, mule, and donkey hoofing its way up State Street.
In 2004 we counted 461 equine in the parade. In 2005 we counted 531. And, in 2006 we counted ... drum roll please ... 472. Our In-house Statistician (IHS) says that every graph begins with a single point. So, we started a graph covering this important topic. Some day it might actually be interesting.
This being the third year in row that we have really been paying attention, we started experiencing a little déjà vu. We were wondering if these were the same horses we saw last year or the year before.
If not, where did those horses go? Where did these horses come from? It looked as if some of them recognized us. Maybe, just maybe, they were counting us? Maybe the contest on the Edhat website for horses, MrEdHat.com, is to guess the number of parade spectators counted by the horses.
During the past two Solstice parades, we have poked fun at the law firm, Hatch & Parent for the invite-only sign at the entrance to their parade party. Apparently some people at the firm read the Daily Edhat. So for Fiesta, they were kind enough to send Ed an invitation. Of course Ed is a bit of a recluse, who shuns crowds and public appearances. He would rather sit home and count corny jokes on reruns of “Saved By The Bell” than go out to a party with lots of people. But, being the wonderful boss that he is, Ed passed the invite on to the dedicated staff. When the parade was over and the counting was done, we went there for some refreshments.
The food at the private party was first-rate Mexican cuisine. The beer was good too. We never tasted the margaritas. We tried to locate one of the hosts to thank them for inviting us,
but all the people we talked to were only people whose friends worked there. Or at least they said their friends worked there.
In yesterday’s contest, two contestants guessed 473. Siegeljja submitted a guess during the pre-parade hour of 11AM. Big Wave Dave submitted his guess at 2:30PM, just after the parade. We were left to wonder whether his guess was a result of good horse sense or otherwise.
Of course there is nothing in the Edhat rulebook against counting things on your own. The Edhat Dog was pretty-much Fiesta’d-out after a long weekend of parades, parties, and out of town guests. But, the Dog was able to rally up enough viva-la-dog-treats to pick between two of them. Without any knowledge of who-submitted-which-entry-when she chose Sieggeljja’s treat signifying this subscriber as a t-shirt winner. The horses have been counted. The prize awarded. Under a heavy marine layer of clouds, life returns to normal in our sleepy little town.
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