Monday, the Heritage Festival Committee announced (via Facebook) the Budweiser Clydesdales are to be featured in the festival parade Sept. 20. Committee chairman Erin Snook spoke to The A-T to explain how the arrangements were made through Beerco Distributing. The Fostoria company is the beer provider for the festival and handles Anheuser-Busch products.
"We had put in an application for the horses to come to our area years ago. The last time they were in Tiffin was a little more than 10 years ago," Snook said.
Earlier this year, Snook met with Tim Sauer of Beerco, who told her the Fostoria company could host the Budweiser horses for this region. The team is to appear at one large community event, so Beerco chose the Heritage Festival. Beerco operations manager Tom Hipp said some costs and much planning are required to bring the team to the area. An online application must be filed to start the process.
PHOTO COURTESY ANHEUSER-BUSCH
Above is a view of the Budweiser Clydesdales from the driver’s seat. A team is to be part of the Heritage Parade Sept. 20.
"We started that about four or five months ago. It all depends on their scheduling, where they are and whether (Anheuser-Busch) feels the event is worthy. That usually goes by the number of people who will see the horses. They want as many people as possible to see them," Hipp said.
"We just learned about two weeks ago they definitely were going to be here."
Snook said the horses only are available for a two-and-a-half-hour time slot Sept. 20. Their placement in the parade has not been determined as yet, but Snook said the team will be set up near The Ritz Theatre for as long as possible after the parade. The public will be able to see them and get some photos. The day after putting the information on Facebook, Snook said her post was viewed by more than 6,000 people and shared more than 100 times.
"I think a lot of people are going to make an effort to come in from out of town," she said.
In addition to the parade, Sauer said Beerco is hoping to have the Clydesdales appear at a few other locations in the company's service area, which covers Seneca and Hancock counties and half of Wood and Wyandot counties. If the horses can stay for a full week, Beerco would like to do a retail radio sweepstakes with the winner receiving a visit from the Clydesdales at their residence.
"We know they'll be there Saturday, we just don't know how early in the week they'll be here," Sauer said. "Being in a rural area, we have to take what we can get, when there's an open week, or if they're passing through the area. It's nice that we can get them in the fall while the weather is still nice."
Anheuser-Busch still must confirm the team's arrival date and how long they will stay. Sauer said Beerco hosted the Clydesdales in 2010 for an appearance at the Findlay Oktoberfest. The horses were housed at the University of Findlay's Equestrian Center, and they most likely will be stabled there again this visit.
"Last time we took them to Findlay. This time we wanted to bring them over to Tiffin," Sauer said. "We have a sister company in Defiance, so we want to try to get them over there, as well."