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You just can't miss the Budweiser Clydesdales

By Staff
COMING TO TOWN n The Budweiser Clydesdales are scheduled to appear Thursday night in Meridian's annual Christmas parade. Submitted photo
By Fredie Carmichael/The Meridian Star
Nov. 28, 2001
Dottie Sharp can't wait to see the Budweiser Clydesdales walk the streets of downtown Meridian during the annual Christmas parade Thursday.
Sharp, a horse enthusiast who is trail coordinator for the Bonita Lakes Saddle Club, has never seen the Clydesdales in person.
The Clydesdales, one of the top attractions in this year's Christmas parade, will make their first appearance since 1955 in the annual Meridian event. The parade begins at 6:30 p.m. Thursday.
The world-famous, 1,800- to 2,300-pound horses will pull a red, white and gold beer wagon the float for Mitchell Distributing Co. Inc., the local business that distributes Anheuser-Busch products.
Clydesdales arrive
Lisa Cowart, marketing director for Mitchell Distributing, said the horses' stature and size make them beautiful. She said Mitchell Distributing is "excited having them back in the parade."
Sharp plans to meet the horses when they arrive in Meridian around 3 p.m. at Seventh Street and 24th Avenue. Shortly afterward, the horses' handlers will begin hitching them to the wagon.
During that time, anyone can see the horses in person.
The Clydesdales became apart of Anheuser-Busch in 1933 and have been traveling around the world ever since. They travel to hundreds of appearances each year and travel over 100,000 miles a year.
Other parades
The Meridian Christmas parade is the first of three in which the Clydesdales will appear this week. They also will appear in parades in Laurel on Friday and Hattiesburg on Saturday.
Besides that, the horses or at least one of the four sets that travel the country also will participate in the upcoming Orange Bowl, Rose Bowl and Mardi Gras parades.
The eight Clydesdales that will march through Meridian will stable in Laurel. They will arrive in Meridian aboard three 50-foot, custom-designed tractor trailers.
The trailers have air cushion suspension and thick rubber flooring in the trailers to ease the rigors of traveling. They also have cameras on board so drivers can monitor the horses.
And for Sharp, the most amazing thing about it all is that "even though the animals are so big they are very graceful because they are known as the Gentle Giants.' "
Fredie Carmichael is a staff writer for The Meridian Star. Call him at 693-1551, ext. 3228, or e-mail him at
Here is a look at details about the Budweiser Clydesdales, scheduled to appear Thursday night in Meridian's annual Christmas parade.
Clydesdales on display:
The Clydesdales: The eight, 1,800- to 2,300-pound horses arrive in Meridian at about 3 p.m. Thursday at Seventh Street and 24th Avenue.
On display: Residents can view the horses from 3 p.m.-6 p.m., while they are being groomed and hitched to a red, white and gold beer wagon.
The parade: The Clydesdales will be a featured attraction in Meridian's annual Christmas parade, which hits the streets at 6:30 p.m. Thursday.