Steena Hymes Staff Writer
December 20, 2013
Looking for an unique experience around the holidays that doesn’t cost a cent? Beginning Dec. 6, the Downtown LaGrange Development Authority began offering free carriage rides downtown around the square. This weekend will be the last chance to enjoy an authentic horse and buggy ride, ending Sunday.
This is the first year the city has offered the rides and the response has been “very positive” according to Barbie Watts of the DLDA.
The ride starts at the corner of South Lafayette Square and Bull St. by the Chamber of Commerce and takes passengers down Broome St, onto Main and around the square.
The idea came from coachman Antonio Lutterbach who asked Barbie Watts if he could offer rides around the square. Lutterbach has lent his carriages to the city for pictures with Santa in the past. With the city’s approval, Lutterbach began the rides.
Lutterbach said he has been steadily busy since the start of the rides and passengers have all had an enjoyable experince.
“We took our two year last weekend and he loved it,” passenger Amanda Mallory said.
Lutterbach, who moved to Georgia in 2007, has been a member of the Brazilian Equestrian Team since he was 12 and competed internationally. He was raised on a farm where he learned to breed horses. Now retired, Lutterbach spends his time as coachman giving carriage rides throughout the year for weddings, special events, birthdays as well as providing lessons. He also builds and restores carriages.
Lutterbach said he is looking for more opportunities to give carriage rides in LaGrange throughout the year.
The DLDA plans on offering rides next season as well, and hopes to make it a downtown tradition since the community response has been high Watts said.
The rides take place 5-9 p.m. Fridays, from 1-5 p.m. Saturdays and from 1-4 p.m. Sundays weather permitting. The closed carriage rides, which take place at night, can carry four passengers. The open carriage rides during the day can hold six passengers. Blankets are provided and passengers can also pose for pictures with the horse and carriage.
No appointments are necessary. Riders can come to the starting point between the designated hours and its “first come, first serve.” There is no cost, but tips are appreciated. If interested, Lutterbach can be reserved for special occasions at lutterbachstables.com