POTTSTOWN >> The world-famous Budweiser Clydesdales, the symbol for Anheuser-Busch since 1933, will be part of the Pottstown Memorial Day Parade on Monday, May 29.
The eight-horse hitch will be harnessed and hitched to the famous red beer wagon at the Goodwill Fire Company, 714 East High St., beginning at 10:15 a.m.
The “Gentle Giants,” as they are often referred to, will proceed west along High Street, north on Manatawny Street and west along King Street before ending in Memorial Park.
Along the way, they will make six deliveries of some special beer at several locations including: Little Italy Pizza at 636 E. High St., Pottstown VFW at 530 E. High St., The Phillies Fire Company at High and Penn Streets, The Brick House at 152 E. High St., Pottstown Elks Lodge No. 814 at 61 E. High St., The Ice House Deli at 1 King St.
“We’ve been after them for quite a number of years, trying to get them to Pottstown,” said Marcia Levengood who, with her brother and fellow Independence Day Ltd. co-chair William “Chip” Smale, arranged for the visit.
“We are so excited,” she said.The horses will be in the area for the Devon Horse Show, and so will be kept there before and after the parade, she said.
The Clydesdales’ appearance in Pottstown is one of hundreds made annually by the traveling hitches.
Canadians of Scottish descent brought the first Clydesdales to America in the mid-1800’s. Today, the giant draft horses are used primarily for breeding and show.
Horses chosen for the Budweiser Clydesdale hitch must be at least three years of age, stand approximately 18 hands – or six feet – at the shoulder, weigh an average of 2,000 pounds, must be bay in color, have four white legs, and a blaze of white on the face and black mane and tail.
A gentle temperament is very important as hitch horses meet millions of people each year.
A single Clydesdale hitch horse will consume as much as 20-25 quarts of feed, 40-50 pounds of hay and 30 gallons of water per day.
Each hitch travels with a Dalmatian. In the early days of brewing, Dalmatians were bred and trained to protect the horses and guard the wagon when the driver went inside to make deliveries.