Clydesdales to parade in Natchez

Published 12:02 am Sunday, February 23, 2014

NATCHEZ — Miss-Lou residents will get a chance next month to meet a few stars of this year’s Super Bowl — but they don’t play for the Broncos or the Seahawks.

The world-famous Budweiser Clydesdales, featured in one of this year’s most popular Super Bowl commercials, will make the trip to Natchez for the 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.

Email newsletter signup

Stephanie Hutchins, vice president of public affairs for Southwest Distributors, said the Clydesdale horses will be in Natchez the last week of March for the celebration.

The Clydesdales will be at a few private events at the new Southwest Distributors, including the company’s ribbon-cutting ceremony.

Southwest Distributors is also planning to have the Clydesdales trot in a parade downtown to give the public a chance to see the “majestic” horses on March 29.

Hutchins said the Clydesdales have not visited Natchez in many years, and she is happy to be able to give something back to Natchez.

“I think it’s a wonderful end to the celebration of a family business … and this is the nicest thing I have ever had to give back to the community,” she said.

Natchez Mayor Butch Brown said he hopes residents will take advantage of the opportunity to see the iconic Clydesdales in Natchez. Brown said he hopes to also have the Clydesdales back in Natchez for the city’s 2016 tricentennial celebration.

“They’re one of the most significant icons of America today,” Brown said. “For them to come to a small town of 16,000 people versus the bigger cities where they go and reach hundreds of thousands or even millions of people, it really makes a visit to Natchez very special. We hope the whole surrounding area will come and participate in the event.”

The official home of the Budweiser Clydesdales is “an ornate brick and stained-glass stable built in 1885 on the historic 100-acre Anheuser-Busch brewery complex in St. Louis,” according to

To qualify for one of the traveling hitches, a Budweiser Clydesdale must be a gelding at least four years of age, stand 72 inches at the shoulder when fully mature, weigh between 1,800 and 2,300 pounds, have a bay coat, four white legs, a white blaze and a black mane and tail.