CLOSER LOOK: Bringing the Budweiser Clydesdales to the Tri-Cities


JOHNSON CITY, Tenn. (WJHL) — People gathered in Johnson City’s King Commons Park for the annual Christmas tree lighting, but the star of the show was Ivan the Clydesdale.

With the Budweiser Clydesdales in town, hundreds have shown up to get a glimpse of the massive and majestic creatures.

News Channel 11’s Anslee Daniel spoke with Mike Hubbard with Holston Distributing, the company that managed to bring to Clydesdales to the Tri-Cities:

The Clydesdales haven’t been to the Tri-Cities since 2011. How long have you been trying to bring them back?

“This process actually started about five years ago and we started requesting them and started requesting. You can imagine during a holiday season this is when everybody wants to have the Clydesdales and so after about five years of me talking and asking and pleading, we finally got them here.”

What is it like to have the Clydesdales stay at Holston Distributing?

“I go out, look out my office and they’re walking the horses, there’s traffic stopped, people getting out of their cars, constant people coming in and out of the warehouse. I tell you we have absolutely enjoyed it!”

How long does it take for the Budweiser Clydesdales to get ready for a parade or event?

“To get ready for the parade last night (in Bristol) it started early yesterday morning. They started bathing them, they got a bath, then they fed them, they braided their hair, they got them all ready then they combed them again, then brushed them again, then when they got them to the parade, they started combing again, so they’re very well taken care of.”

Why is there a Dalmatian on top of the wagon?

“The Dalmatian was part of the whole Budweiser wagon. The Dalmatian would sit on top of the beer while the driver went in and delivered the beer and he would sit up there and watch the beers so no one would steal the beer.”

How do you decide where the Clydesdales will appear?

“We started calling around, seeing what was going on, we knew we had a couple of parades that we could get into and so its just kind of picking and choosing the best places that we can get the best turnouts.”

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