My family has seen the Budweiser Clydesdales during trips to Rhode Island and they really are a magnificent sight to see. With all the times that I’ve seen them in various parades however, I never knew about the the visiting Clydesdales’ other events. I’ve missed the opportunity to learn more about what it takes to get a eight-horse team of workhorses parade ready.
According to Saratoga Eagle’s Community Relations and Marketing Manager Jennifer Allen, Anheuser-Busch distributors request the hitch for special occasions and they were last here more than seven years ago. This visit will highlight the week of events during the 50th Anniversary of Saratoga Performing Arts Center (SPAC).
“With SPAC’s 50th Anniversary, having the Clydesdales here is a perfect tie-in,” says Allen. “The Clydesdales are family-friendly and fun to watch. In addition to SPAC’s family night, there are a series of events scheduled. The team is here for the week and in as many locations as possible with the goal of being able to reach as many people as possible.”
Though watching the team parade down the street or to see them hitched up close for a photo opt is exciting, part of the thrill of visiting the individual horses at their stable is to see how the horses live and ask questions of their handlers.
The first team of Clydesdales made their debut in 1933 when brothers August and Adolphus Busch presented the original two hitches to their father to celebrate the repeal of Prohibition. Since that time the Clydesdales have been present for many national celebrations including two Presidential inaugurations (Harry Truman and Bill Clinton), and even paid tribute to the memory of those lives lost during 9/11.
The weekly schedule is as follows:
Wed., August 17: Stable Viewing 10 am – 4 pm with a parade down Avenue of the Pines, Saratoga.
Thurs., August 18: Stable Viewing 10 am – 2 pm with pictures in Lake George’s Charles R Wood Park at 4-5 pm and parade down Beach Road and Canada Street at 5 pm
Fri., August 19: Stable Viewing 10 am – 4 pm with SPAC Orchestra Pre-Party at 5-6:30 pm and parade down Ave. of the Pines at 6 pm
Sat., August 20: Stable Viewing 10 am – 1 pm with pictures at the Altamont Fairground and Budweiser Parade of Champions at 4 pm
Sun., August 21: Stable Viewing 10 am – 1:30 pm with pictures at the Troy Valley Cats Main Parking Lot and a parade on the field at 4:30 pm
“They are very impressive animals to see,” says Allen. “If you only see them walk by in a parade, visiting the stable is a chance to see how large and beautiful the animals are up close. Their handlers follow them everywhere so people can ask questions during the events as well.”
The Clydesdales will be traveling as far north as Lake George with photo opportunities overlooking the lake. According to Allen, the Clydesdales will leave Lake George to go back to the Saratoga stables via a trailer, but first they will exit onto Beach Road with a “gorgeous backdrop of the lake and impressive view of the team.”