World Renowned Budweiser Clydesdales to visit Ocean Springs

On Saturday, February 1, the City of Ocean Springs will welcome the Budweiser Clydesdales to downtown with a parade and Budweiser beer pairing dinner. 

The Budweiser Clydesdale crew will hitch starting at 2 p.m. on Jackson Avenue off Front Beach. The parade will begin at 3 p.m. and end near the Mary C. O’Keefe Cultural Center.  The event will include delivering a case of beer to local downtown restaurant and bars from Porter Avenue to the Juke Joint as part of their parade route. 

Following the parade, a beer pairing dinner with Budweiser will be hosted at the Mary C. O’Keefe Cultural Center beginning at 6 p.m.  Tickets must be purchased in advance through the Mary C. box office. 

For more information on the parade and festivities, visit the Ocean Springs Chamber of Commerce Facebook event page, contact the Ocean Springs Chamber of Commerce-Main Street-Tourism Bureau at 228-875-4424 or purchase a ticket to the dinner by calling 228-818-2878.

Stay up to date on the Budweiser Clydesdales by visiting Mitchell Distributing on Facebook and view the Budweiser Clydesdale Visit the Mississippi Gulf Coast event page.

History of the Budweiser Clydesdales

On April 7, 1933, August A. Busch, Jr. and Adolphus Busch III surprised their father, August A. Busch, Sr., with the gift of a six-horse Clydesdale hitch to commemorate the repeal of Prohibition of beer.

Realizing the marketing potential of a horse-drawn beer wagon, the company also arranged to have a second six-horse Clydesdale hitch sent to New York on April 7 to mark the event. The Clydesdales drew a crowd of thousands on their way to the Empire State Building. After a small ceremony, a case of Budweiser was presented to former Governor Alfred E. Smith in appreciation of his years of service in the fight against Prohibition.

This hitch continued on a tour of New England and the Mid-Atlantic states, thrilling thousands, before stopping in Washington, D.C., in April 1933 to reenact the delivery of one of the first cases of Budweiser to President Franklin Delano Roosevelt. The St. Louis hitch also toured in celebration, stopping in Chicago and other Midwestern cities.

Shortly after the hitch was first introduced, the six-horse Clydesdale team increased to eight. On March 30, 1950, in commemoration of the opening of the Anheuser-Busch Newark Brewery, a Dalmatian was introduced as the Budweiser Clydesdales’ mascot. Now, a Dalmatian travels with each of the Clydesdale hitches.

Did you know?

  • 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.