The stars of Sunday’s 30th annual Delaware All Horse Parade will be the Budweiser Clydesdales.
Ten of the horses, along with Dalmatians, a beer wagon and seven handlers, drove into town on Wednesday in three semi-trucks. Two of the horses appeared at local events Friday, and a team of eight Clydesdales will be hitched to the wagon and go around the Delaware County Fairgrounds racetrack from 3 to 5 p.m. today.
Finally, there will be a team hitched up and taking part in the three-mile All Horse Parade at 3 p.m. Sunday.
“We’d like to have them every year, but that’s impossible,” said Diane Winters, chair of the All Horse Parade, when the Clydesdale announcement was made in June. “It’s exciting because every year at the parade, people go, where are the Clydesdales? They are a well-respected team.”
Winters said she had been trying to get the Clydesdales here since last October. This will be the third official appearance for the Clydesdales in Delaware. They first appeared at the 15th All Horse Parade in 2000, and at the county fair in 2008 (just missing Hurricane Ike).
Unofficially, the Clydesdales are frequent visitors to the fairgrounds. They will stay overnight on trips from, say, Michigan to Tennessee, said handler Burt Westbrook.
“It’s a convenient place, not far from the freeway, good size stalls, so it’s got everything we ask for that makes it easier to make the overnights,” Westbrook said.
When the Clydesdales leave, some of the Little Brown Jug and Jugette harness racing horses will stay in the same 14- by 14-foot stalls.
Organizers say the circular parade route exits the fairgrounds main gate onto Pennsylvania Avenue and turns left (east) to North Sandusky Street; turns right (south) onto North Sandusky; proceeds to West Winter Street and turns right (west) to North Liberty Street; turns right (north) onto North Liberty; proceeds to Lincoln Avenue and turns left (west); turns right (north) onto Euclid Avenue; proceeds north on Euclid Avenue and returns to the fairgrounds through the Euclid Avenue gate.
Gary Budzak may be reached at 740-413-0904 or on Twitter @GaryBudzak.