Public can see world-famous Clydesdales SaturdayPublished 12:09am Tuesday, March 25, 2014
NATCHEZ — The world-famous Budweiser Clydesdales will arrive this week in Natchez and parade downtown Saturday.
Stephanie Hutchins, vice president of public affairs for Southwest Distributors, said one of the traveling hitches of the Clydesdales is en route to Natchez from a stop in Ocala, Fla.
The Clydesdales are making the trip to Natchez for this week’s grand opening celebration of Southwest Distributors.
The Anheuser-Busch beer distribution company moved into a $2.5 million facility it constructed on McNeil Road in December.
The Clydesdales will be at a few private events this week, including the company’s ribbon-cutting ceremony and an After Hours event for the Natchez-Adams County Chamber of Commerce open to chamber members.
Hutchins said residents can get a look and pictures of the Clydesdales beginning at noon Saturday.
The Clydesdales will hitch up behind the former Southwest Distributors location on Broadway Street.
Natchez-Adams County Chamber of Commerce President Debbie Hudson said she expects the Clydesdales will draw a crowd downtown for a scheduled parade at 2 p.m. Saturday.
During the parade, the hitch will travel all the way down Broadway Street, take a left onto Canal Street, then right onto Franklin Street, right onto Rankin Street and finally a right onto Main Street heading back to Broadway Street.
The forecast for Saturday indicates it will be partly sunny with a high around 73.
If it rains Saturday, Hutchins said, the parade will be rescheduled for Sunday.
“I think we will be OK for the parade on Saturday weather-wise; it looks like it’s going to be nice,” Hutchins said.
Since announcing the Clydesdales were coming to Natchez last month, Hutchins said she has heard many people buzzing about it.
“I get probably 50 calls a day,” she said. “We’re really excited about it.”
Budweiser has several traveling hitches, or teams, that travel the country making appearances.
To qualify for one of the eight-horse hitches, a Clydesdale must stand 18 hands high, or approximately six feet, at the shoulder when fully mature and weigh approximately 2,000 pounds.
They must be geldings, bay in color, have four white legs and a blaze of white on the face, as well as a black main and tail.
The Clydesdales travel with 10 horses total in order to provide rest for each of the “first-string” horses, as well as with expert groomers and handlers.
The traveling caravan includes three 50-foot tractor-trailers custom built for the horses.
Two tractor-trailers carry the Clydesdales and the third carries equipment ranging from the iconic red, white and gold beer wagon to the handcrafted brass harness.