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The Daily Evergreen

The student voice of Washington State University since 1895

The Daily Evergreen

The student voice of Washington State University since 1895

The Daily Evergreen

Santa on horseback a community tradition for annual Appaloosa open house

Open house opens educational opportunities, exposure for museum
Mr. and Mrs. Claus arrive at the Appaloosa Museum in Moscow to greet families for the holidays.

Santa Claus and his horse, Nugget, rode to the back of the Appaloosa Museum in Moscow to greet the children and families at the museum’s annual holiday open house on Saturday.

Steve Taylor, Appaloosa Museum board member, said the holiday open house has taken place since before he came to Moscow almost 20 years ago. The holiday event gives exposure to the Moscow and Pullman community, free of cost.

“We don’t charge anybody to come, we just want them to know that we’re here,” he said. “Kids need to know that we’ve got a little activity center that they could come to all the rest of the year, like the little miniature movie theater. We just want people to know we’re here.”


Taylor said he has run into people who have lived in Moscow their whole life, but have never been to the museum; the annual holiday open house, alongside other seasonal events, opens up the opportunity for people to see and learn about the museum.

He said the event has been beneficial because there are people who come back every year, and some people went to the annual event when they were younger and are now bringing their children every year.

“It’s become a community tradition,” he said.

Children used to be able to decorate their own cookies, but because of how messy cookie decorating is, a table was set up with cookies and other treats to take home, Taylor said.

“I get the pleasure of baking all the horse-shaped cookies. Of course, some of them look like sheepdogs, but the skinny ones look like horses,” he said.

Taylor said his favorite part of the event is when Santa rides in on his horse, which happens every year.

Community members Lydia and Adam Kappmeyer brought their son, Sage, to the event, who brought carrots to feed the horse because he loves to feed horses.

Adam said there are horses at their home Sage likes to feed, which inspired him to bring carrots for Nugget.

“He’s a big fan of Nugget,” Lydia said. “He’ll probably be talking about it for the next few days. His granny Sue is a big horse fan so she inspires all the horse love around our house.”

Community member Sarah Silflow said she has brought her children to past Appaloosa Museum events, and went to the holiday open house with her friends and their children as well this past weekend.

“My kids have really loved getting to learn about the history of the area and to play in the play area and pet live horses,” Siflow said. “They’ve enjoyed it every time they’ve come, especially the live horses.”

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Alexandria started working for the Evergreen in October 2020 as a news reporter and eventually hopped around to the roots/life, opinion and culture sections. She was a copy editor for three semesters beginning in January 2021 and was the Life editor in fall 2022. She was the copy chief for the summer and fall 2023 semesters, and is currently the editor-in-chief for the spring 2024 semester. She is from Tri-Cities, WA, and is always writing in her free time.

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  • CareyDec 13, 2023 at 9:18 am

    This is a wonderful event. We’ve gone almost every year since it started.

  • Janet Murtha (Worthman)Dec 7, 2023 at 7:14 pm

    This is such a wonderful horse educational activity for children in the area, and I wish it had been available to me when I was growing up in Pullman in the 50s and 60s! Just a great time for all to enjoy.