The horse-drawn carriage rides around Public Square are among the most popular attraction at downtown Cleveland’s Winterfest, and this year, the free rides are being provided by Meijer.
And Meijer invited families served by the Boys & Girls Clubs of Cleveland to take the first rides of the season.
“As a family company, we understand how important it is to support the communities where our customers and team members live and work,” said Ken Barclay, Meijer Market Director.
The horse-drawn carriage rides are special to Meijer because of the retailer’s iconic mechanical ponies, named “Sandy the Pony,” that are located at the front of each of its stores. Meijer debuted Sandy with the opening of Thrifty Acres in 1962, when the late Fred Meijer, who had a long history with horses, learned of 10-cent pony rides at a supermarket in Nebraska. Fred thought a dime was a lot of money and decided to charge on penny, a price which has since become a symbol of family shopping at reasonable prices.
Sandy has been a fixture ever since, and is often the last thing a child remembers on the way out of the store.
To watch a video on the history of Sandy, please click here.