World-Famous Clydesdales will deliver holiday spirit to three Mississippi parades this week
Published 5:43 am Monday, December 4, 2023
Move over Rudolph! The World Famous Budweiser Clydesdales will usher in the holidays for three Mississippi towns this week.
Mitchell Distributing, a family-owned beverage distributor in northeast Mississippi, announced that the iconic team of draft horses will visit the Starkville, Tupelo, and Columbus Christmas parades in the coming days.
“The holiday season is here! There’s nothing that gets you more in the holiday spirit than seeing the World Famous Budweiser Clydesdales!” the Facebook post from Mitchell Distributing said. “We’re looking forward to a huge week in Starkville, Tupelo, and Columbus next week with these majestic gentle giants!”
The horses will first visit Starkville on Thursday, Dec. 7. The Clydesdale will be part of the downtown Starkville Christmas parade at 6 p.m.
In addition to the parade, the horses will be making other appearances in the college town, the post said.
“We’ll be stopping at bars and restaurants throughout downtown and delivering cases of Budweiser from the wagon,” the post said.
The following day, on Dec. 8, the Clydesdales will be a part of the 75th Annual Reed’s Tupelo Christmas Parade in downtown Tupelo at 6 p.m.
On Sunday, Dec. 10, the Clydesdale will then be a part of the Columbus Christmas Parade at 6 p.m.
The folks at Mitchell Distributing hope to provide full parade routes, and other locations to see the horses before each parade in the coming days on its Facebook page.
ABOUT THE CLYDESDALES
Today, the Budweiser Clydesdales continue to be an enduring symbol of the brewer’s heritage, tradition and commitment to quality, making hundreds of appearances across the country each year.
To properly prepare the Clydesdales for their appearances, a team of dedicated handlers oversees their care. Expert groomers travel on the road with the hitch at least 10 months out of the year. Another team oversees their diet; each hitch horse will consume as much as 20 to 25 quarts of whole grains, minerals and vitamins, 50 to 60 pounds of hay, and up to 30 gallons of water on a warm day.
When it comes time to travel to an appearance, 10 horses; the famous red, white, and gold beer wagon; and other essential equipment are transported in three 50-foot tractor-trailers. Cameras mounted in the trailers are connected to monitors in the cabs that enable the drivers to keep a watchful eye on their precious cargo during transport. Air-cushioned suspension and thick rubber flooring in the trailers ease the rigors of traveling. The team stops each night at local stables so the “gentle giants” can rest.
The team also travels with hitch drivers, who endure a lengthy training process before they assume the prestigious role of a Budweiser Clydesdale Hitch Driver. Driving the combined 12 tons of wagon and horses requires expert skill and physical strength. The 40 pounds of lines held by the driver plus the tension of the horses pulling creates a weight of more than 75 pounds.
Presently, the Budweiser Clydesdales reside at the Anheuser-Busch breweries in St. Louis for public viewing. Visitors can also see the Clydesdales up-close at Warm Springs Ranch, the premier Budweiser Clydesdales breeding establishment in Boonville, Missouri. Both attractions are open seasonally.
When they’re not making appearances around the country, the Budweiser Clydesdales also continue to be marketing stalwarts for Anheuser-Busch. They first appeared in the Super Bowl in 1975, and have since appeared in countless Super Bowl commercials for the company.