Friday, September 13, 2013

Scene in Easton: Crowds Flock to See Budweiser Clydesdales in Easton

By Christina Georgiou

The Budweiser Clydesdales set out on Larry Holmes Drive after making a delivery at Champs Corner. The hitch stopped at a number of bars and restaurants in Easton Friday afternoon, drawing huge crowds everywhere they went.

Assistant Supervisor Eric Soto stands with the Clydesdale
team in the parking lot outside Champ's Corner before setting
off to deliver beer to a number of bars and restaurants in
The iconic Budweiser Clydesdale team was met by a crowd comprised of several thousand people in Easton on Friday in the streets of Easton as they made symbolic deliveries of cases of Budweiser beer to a number of bars and restaurants in the city.

Averaging about 2,000 pounds apiece, the six-foot show horses seemed to attract and charm everyone everywhere they went in the city.

Pasquale Cesci, owner of Antonio's Pizza,
accompanied by family members,
receives his beer.
The tour kicked off at Larry Holmes' Champs Corner, along Larry Holmes Drive, heading south along the river to South Third Street, where the hitch stopped to deliver beer to Antonio's Pizza.

Then it was off to Lafayette Bar, followed by deliveries to Pearly Bakers, Mother's, Rivals, and Drinky's on Centre Square.

The eight-horse team then proceeded east on Northampton Street to the free bridge, where it turned left and headed up river to Frank and Dot's Beverages, where another case of Budweiser was dropped off at the distributorship, fittingly with the Budweiser logo that graces the building overhead.

Crowds flock to see the Budweiser Clydesdales Friday
afternoon along Spring Garden Street.
Then it was off to Colonial Pizza on Spring Garden Street, and up the steep slope to College Hill, where the draft horses and carriage made several more deliveries to businesses there.

Along the way, members of the crowd were seen happily taking photos of the equines, as well as posing in front of them. Handlers tended the horses at each stop, wiping their mouths and keeping the well-trained team calm, as well as cleaning up after them as necessary.

Mayor Sal Panto rode upon the carriage too, waving to the crowd, along with dalmatian mascot Brewer, while supervisor Dave Thomas and assistant supervisor Eric Soto drove the hitch.

"They're so gorgeous," was heard from people in the crowd commenting on the massive horses' appearance more than once, along with, "They're really, really pretty."

Mitch and Don led the team of eight Clydesdales through
the streets of Downtown Easton Friday afternoon.
While the Budweiser Clydesdale teams tour around the country regularly, that seeing them in person is a special, perhaps once-in-a-lifetime event is clear.

"I haven't seen the Budweiser Clydesdales since I was 10 years old in Texas," remarked one woman who appeared to be well into middle age.

Though a team of eight of the horses pulls the delivery wagon, a total of 11 of the show animals travelled to the area for a week of events in the Lehigh Valley.

Each horse consumes about 50 pounds of hay and 10 pounds of oats per day, and drinks 30 gallons of water, Soto said.

Members of the equine team seen in Easton are all about 10 years old, he added.

The Budweiser Clydesdales, finished with Downtown deliveries, head west
on Spring Garden Street, set to hit College Hill next.
The Budweiser Clydesdales got their start in 1933 when 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, according to the Anheuser-Busch website. The hitch was increased to an eight-horse team shortly thereafter, and the dalmation mascot was added in 1950.

The Budweiser Clydesdales can be viewed at the Anheuser-Busch breweries in St. Louis, MO, Fort  Collins, CO, and Merrimack, NH, where the hitch seen in Easton is based.

A member of the Budweiser Clydesdale hitch
shows his personality by mugging for
the camera.
They also may be viewed at Grant’s Farm in St. Louis and at Warm Springs Ranch, the 300-plus acre Clydesdale breeding farm located near Boonville, Mo.

The Budweiser Clydesdales will again be doing deliveries to local bars and restaurants from 1 to 3 p.m. on Monday in Allentown. The hitch will be in the Lehigh Valley through Tuesday, September 17.

Crowds wait for the Clydesdale hitch to arrive on Centre
Square Friday afternoon.

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