GULFPORT, MS (WLOX) - Budweiser Clydesdales are scheduled to make several appearances in several cities along the Gulf Coast in February. The horses are used as a mascot for commercials and other promotions by the Anheuser-Busch Brewing Company to promote the well-known beer.
Mitchell Distributing will be bringing the eight-horse hitch, along with the famous red beer wagon, to Biloxi, Gulfport, Bay St. Louis and Ocean Springs.
- On Wednesday, February 6th, the Clydesdales will parade downtown Biloxi starting at 5 p.m. The crew will begin hitching on Howard Avenue with the first stop being at City Hall, where the mayor will announce a proclamation.
- On Thursday, February 7th, the hitch will head over to the Keesler Air Force base from 1-3 p.m. They’ll begin at the Commissary and parade to Class 6.
- The crew will parade downtown Gulfport on Friday, February 8th, at 5 PM and will hitch starting at the aquarium.
- On Saturday, February 8th, the Clydesdales will have a parade in Bay St. Louis starting at 5 p.m. They’ll hitch at the Depot and then parade through downtown.
- Lastly, the hitch will end their visit by going to Ocean Springs on Sunday, February 10th. The crew will hitch starting at 2 p.m. at Front Beach and end at the Mary C. O’Keefe Cultural Center.
All downtown events in Gulfport, Bay St. Louis, and Ocean Springs will include delivering a case of beer to local downtown restaurants and bar as part of their parade route. There will also be public viewing opportunity throughout their visit at Harrison County Fairgrounds. The public viewing hours are: Friday, February 8th from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m., Saturday, February 9th from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m., and Monday, February 11th from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m.
- Each of the Clydesdales handcrafted harnesses and collars weigh approximately 130 pounds.
- The Budweiser Clydesdales are given short names, such as Duke, Mark and Bud, to make it easier for the driver to give commands to the horses during a performance.
- Budweiser Clydesdales horseshoes measure more than 20 inches from end to end and weigh about 5 pounds.
- Dalmatians were known as coach dogs because they ran between the wheels of coaches or carriages and were companions to the horses. Since the 1950s, Dalmatians have traveled with the Budweiser Clydesdales hitch, perched atop the wagon proudly seated next to the driver.
- The turn-of-the-century beer wagons have been meticulously restored and are kept in excellent condition. The wagons are equipped with two braking systems: a hydraulic pedal device that slows the vehicle for turns and downhill descents, and a hand-brake that locks the rear wheels when the wagon is at a halt.