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Love in the air on Feb. 13 in Uptown Shelby
Mischia and Greg Taylor not only got engaged in a horse-drawn carriage, but they also rode in a carriage on their wedding day.

Love will be in the air on Feb. 13, 2021, in Uptown Shelby. For the first time ever, the city is hosting carriage rides for Valentine's Day, or rather Valentine's Eve.

"The rides have gone so well at Christmastime that we decided it would be a great idea to bring them back for Valentine's Day, too," says Tricia Woodland, marketing director of the Uptown Shelby Association. "We chose to do the Carriage Rides on Saturday the 13th so people could enjoy our businesses and Uptown Shelby when they come for their ride. We have so many great shops to find gifts in. We hope folks can grab a drink, ride the carriage and then go grab some dinner to dine in or take home. Our Uptown Shelby restaurants are ready to celebrate Valentine's Eve with everyone."

Safety precautions will be in effect for the rides to be sure that everyone remains safe.

"Like during the holidays, we are able to offer carriage rides by reservation only," says Woodland. "This allows for no lines and social distancing, and we wipe down touch points on the carriage after each ride. We want to make this as safe as possible."

If something magical happens on one of the carriage rides this Valentine's Eve, it won't be the first time such a thing has occurred. Carriage operator Chad Blevins, who has supplied the carriages for Uptown Shelby for the past five years, reports that he has witnessed a number of birthday celebrations, special family moments, and proposals.

Mischia Taylor remembers her own such experience, which occurred almost 20 years ago.

"In December 2001, Uptown Shelby was hosting the annual carriage rides around Christmastime. On the last Friday night of the month, Greg (now, my husband), who I had been dating for about eight months, asked if I wanted to go uptown on that Friday night to see the luminaries and ride in the horse-drawn carriage," says Taylor. "Of course, I thought it sounded like a fun night, so off we went."

Taylor reports that Greg was acting "a little weird" that night.

"I remember Miles Hamrick was driving us and was very chatty with Greg. If you know Greg, he is normally chatty, too, but he was being a little short with Miles. We rounded the first turn, and Greg pulled a ring box out of his coat pocket," says Taylor. "My immediate reaction was, 'What did you do?' But I didn't just think it--I said it out loud! To this day, Greg gives me a hard time about that! He looked at me with his big blue eyes and asked me to spend the rest of my life with him... and now, here we are happily married almost 20 years later! Uptown Shelby is just a beautiful place, and I love that it is part of our story!"

Maybe more such stories will unfold this Valentine's weekend. The $50 cost reserves the entire carriage for a couple or family for 15 minutes.

"We are also including an over-sized red buffalo- check plush throw to keep folks cozy on the ride," says Woodland. "After the ride, folks can take it home as a nice memento of a special night!"

To make reservations, search for "Uptown Shelby" on Facebook or visit www.uptownshelby. com. The horse team of Crissy and Slim will be pulling the carriage for the Uptown Shelby Valentine's Eve rides around the

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