Horses to appear in different events over three days

The Budweiser Clydesdales will appear in the Hannibal bicentennial parade on Saturday, June 22.

The announcement was made Tuesday night during the Hannibal City Council meeting at city hall. The effort to bring the horses, which have served as a symbol for Anheuser-Busch since 1933, was led by Michael Riesenbeck of Golden Eagle Distributing.

"We are just glad to be a part of it," he said. "It is something we can do to help sponsor the bicentennial."

Riesenbeck said efforts to bring the popular animals to Hannibal began almost a year ago.

"Most of it revolves around scheduling,” he said. “The stars aligned, which is half the battle. It's been a little tricky, though we are glad to have them. These are very special horses."

The Clydesdales will be harnessed and hitched to a red bear wagon at the Save-A-Lot parking area from 9:30 a.m. to 11 a.m., when the parade kicks off.

The parade will move down Broadway. The procession will turn north onto Third Street, proceed to North Street where it will turn east, passing near the Tom and Huck statue, before turning onto North Main Street.

Riesenbeck said the horses will be making other appearances during their three-day stay, including at a Hannibal Hoots baseball game and at a YMCA fundraiser.

"There will be three solid days of opportunities to be able to see the horses," he said.

The Clydesdales appearance in Hannibal will be one of hundreds made annually by the traveling hitches, said Gail Bryant, director of the Hannibal Convention and Visitors Bureau,.

The Clydesdales' last appearance in Hannibal was in 2007.

Horses chosen for the Budweiser Clydesdale hitch must be at least 3 years old, stand approximately 6 feet tall at the shoulders, weigh around 2,000 pounds, be bay in color, have four white legs, a blaze of white on the face and a black mane and tail. A gentle temperament is also preferred.