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|Clydesdales to appear at Ike, Mardi Gras parade|
The world-famous Budweiser Clydesdales, a symbol for Anheuser-Busch since 1933, will make a special appearance Wednesday, Feb. 4, at Ike Hamilton Expo Center in West Monroe.
The Budweiser Clydesdales will also participate in the Feb. 7, Krewe of Janus Mardi Gras parade.
Tyler Flemister with Monroe's Marsala Beverage said the Clydesdales appearance in Ouachita Parish in February will mark the second time the Budweiser Clydesdales have appeared in the area. Marsala Beverage is the Anheuser-Busch distributor for northeastern Louisiana.
The Feb. 4 event at Ike Hamilton Expo Center will be the first time the horses will be shown for a local "meet and greet" with area residents, Flemister said.
The event will be held from 6-8:30 p.m.
"We would love to see everyone come out and meet the Clydesdales and take pictures with them," Flemister said. "We think it will be a great event to show off the rich tradition of Budweiser."
The eight-horse hitch will be harnessed and hitched to the famous red beer wagon during the event at the Ike and as they make their way through the Krewe of Janus Mardi Gras parade.
The Clydesdales' appearance in Ouachita Parish is one of 300 made annually by the five-traveling hitches.
There are six hitches, or teams of horses, five of which travel the United States for promotional events. One hitch always remains at the Anheuser-Busch headquarters in St. Louis, Mo.
Canadians of Scottish descent brought the first Clydesdales to America in the mid-1800s. Today, the giant draft horses are used primarily for breeding and show.
The horses were first introduced to the public in 1933 where they carried the first batch of post-Prohibition beer from Anheuser-Busch's brewery down Pestalozzi Street in St. Louis.
Horses chosen for the Budweiser Clydesdale Hitch must be at least three years old, stand approximately six feet and weigh an average of 2,000 pounds. They also must be bay in color, have four white stockings and a blaze of white on the face and black mane and tail.
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 dog.
In the early days of brewing, Dalmatians were bred and trained to protect the horses and guard the wagon when the driver made deliveries.