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The Budweiser Clydesdales are in town

Robert Houk • Updated Dec 3, 2019 at 5:29 PM

The Budweiser Clydesdales are here.

The iconic eight-horse beer wagon team arrived in Johnson City on Sunday. Trainers were seen exercising the draft horses near their temporary stables at Holston Distributing Co., 310 Lafe Cox Drive, as snow showers fell in the area on Monday.

The Clydesdales will precede Santa Claus (riding in the fire department’s restored vintage 1928 Seagrave ladder truck) in Johnson City’s Christmas Parade, which is set to begin Saturday at 10:30 a.m.

One of the Clydesdales will be also available from 4-6 p.m. at King Commons on Friday for photos before the lighting of the official Christmas Tree in downtown Johnson City.

The horses and their drivers will also make appearances in Erwin and Bristol during a weeklong stay in the region. A spotted Dalmation, which is a carriage dog bred to protect a wagon while its driver made deliveries, will accompany the Clydesdales.

The Clydesdales will be at the Food City in Erwin from 4-6 p.m. on Wednesday, and will lead the Christmas parade in Bristol at 7 p.m. Thursday. The Budweiser traveling team actually consists of 10 horses.

According to the official Budweiser Clydesdale website, the word-famous draft horses must stand at least 18 hands (or 6 feet) to make the team.

Mike Hubbard, general manager of Holston Distributing, told the Press in October he has tried for a number of years to book the Clydesdales for the city’s Christmas parade.

“I feel like we have won the lottery,” Hubbard said. “They are really something to see. We are excited to have them here.”

The Budweiser Clydesdales first made an appearance in Johnson City in the late 1940s. The draft team’s last stop in the area came in August 2013 when the Clydesdales made several appearances in Bristol and Johnson City for a NASCAR race.

Staging for the Johnson City Christmas Parade will begin Saturday at East Tennessee State University’s Lot No. 9 at the corner of University Parkway and West State of Franklin Road.

The parade will travel onto West Walnut Street, crossing University Parkway and continue on West Walnut to Buffalo Street. It will then cross East State of Franklin Road, go down East Main Street, right on Colonial Way then left to East State of Franklin ending in the Old Burley lot at the corner of East State of Franklin and Legion Street.

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