An Excellent Celebration: The Budweiser Clydesdales Return to Texarkana

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Credit: Eagle Distributing

Reflecting on Texarkana’s Historic Encounter with Iconic Budweiser Clydesdales and Rising Country Harmony

Texarkana recently played host to a splendid affair as the renowned Budweiser Clydesdales made their triumphant return to the Front Street Plaza entertainment district. This nostalgic celebration, brought to the community by Eagle Distributing of Texarkana, not only marked a significant historical milestone but also featured the rising melodies of country artist Priscilla Block, creating a harmonious blend of tradition and entertainment.

Texarkana, a city steeped in history and tradition, recently concluded an extraordinary event thPat captivated both residents and visitors alike. From November 1-4, 2023, the world-famous Budweiser Clydesdales made a triumphant return to the Front Street Plaza entertainment district downtown, courtesy of Eagle Distributing of Texarkana, the area’s dedicated wholesaler of Anheuser-Busch products. This festive fall event offered a unique blend of heritage, culture, and entertainment, featuring not only the iconic Clydesdales but also a live performance by rising country artist Priscilla Block.

Budweiser Clydesdales
Credit: Eagle Distributing

Historical Echoes and Local Triumphs

The Budweiser Clydesdales have a storied history dating back to April 7, 1933, when they made their debut in St. Louis, Missouri, during the Prohibition era. However, their connection with Texarkana runs even deeper. The last time these majestic horses graced the streets of this vibrant city was in 2015 at Spring Lake Park. This visit was a poignant celebration, honoring Tim O’Neal, president, and managing partner of Eagle Distributing, and his team for receiving the prestigious Big Jake Award—an accolade bestowed upon the distributor with the highest achievement level for an Anheuser-Busch wholesaler. Out of 600 nationwide wholesalers, only 16 had attained this remarkable success.

A Symbolic 20-Pound Statue

The recognition of Eagle Distributing’s accomplishments came in the form of a symbolic 20-pound statue of a Clydesdale—a tangible representation of their dedication and achievement in the world of Anheuser-Busch distribution. This statue stood not only as an award but as a testament to the distributor’s commitment to excellence in their field.

Budweiser Clydesdales
Credit: Eagle Distributing

Cultural Tapestry on the Crossties Building

Texarkana proudly boasted a cultural tapestry interwoven with the history of the Budweiser Clydesdales. The side of the Crossties building downtown was adorned with a spectacular painted mural crafted by acclaimed Texas artist David Freeman. This mural masterfully captured the essence of these majestic horses as they pulled the iconic big red hitchwagon—a breathtaking testament to the enduring partnership between Texarkana and the Clydesdales.

Return to the Streets of Downtown

Texarkana’s connection with the Clydesdales dated back to 1952 when these magnificent creatures first trotted down the streets of downtown. As the city celebrated the 90th Anniversary of the Budweiser Clydesdales, the return of these horses to the heart of Texarkana was a fitting tribute to a shared history.

Budweiser Clydesdales
CREDITS: Stephen Immer

Dalmatians and Coach Dogs

A delightful and traditional sight accompanying the Clydesdales was the Dalmatian dog riding alongside the wagon driver. These dogs, known as coach dogs, had a historical role as companions to the Clydesdales. Their speed and endurance made them invaluable as they ran between the wheels of coaches or carriages, and today, they continued to add charm to the Clydesdales’ appearances.

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CREDITS: Stephen Immer

From Farming to Show Horses

Originally bred for farming in Scotland in the mid-1800s, Clydesdales were prized for their strength, able to pull a one-ton load at an impressive five miles per hour. While they were once vital to agriculture, today, these powerful horses served as breeding and show horses, making appearances at special events across the country.

Up Close and Personal

For the Texarkana community and beyond, this event offered a rare opportunity to witness the Budweiser Clydesdales up close and personal. An outside fenced area adjacent to the concert area provided a perfect vantage point for attendees to marvel at these majestic horses and even grab a photograph to commemorate the experience.


Read more: Arkansas Herald: Budweiser Clydesdales Steal the Spotlight at University of Arkansas


A Free Glimpse of Tradition

The best part? There was no cost to witness the Budweiser Clydesdales. The public was invited to partake in this celebration of tradition, history, and community without any admission fees. However, for those looking to enhance their experience, tickets were available for the Priscilla Block concert on November 3, adding a musical dimension to an already unforgettable event.

Budweiser Clydesdales

As Texarkana welcomed back the Budweiser Clydesdales, the city now reflects on a historical and cultural celebration. Eagle Distributing’s commitment to excellence, coupled with the rich tapestry of Texarkana’s history with the Clydesdales, ensures that this event will be etched in the memories of those who attended. From the painted mural on the Crossties building to the return of these majestic horses to downtown streets, this event stands as a testament to the enduring connection between a community and its iconic symbol of heritage and tradition.

Budweiser Clydesdales
Credit: Eagle Distributing

References:

  1. Anheuser-Busch. (2022). Budweiser Clydesdales. https://www.anheuser-busch.com/our-brands/budweiser-clydesdales.html
  2. Texarkana Gazette. (2015). Budweiser Clydesdales visit Texarkana to honor Eagle Distributing. https://www.texarkanagazette.com/news/texarkana/story/2015/aug/21/budweiser-clydesdales-visit-texarkana-honor-eagle-distributing/535003/
  3. Texarkana Gazette. (2023). Priscilla Block to Perform at Front Street Plaza. https://www.texarkanagazette.com/news/texarkana/story/2023/jul/28/priscilla-block-perform-front-street-plaza/932997/
  4. Eagle Distributing of Texarkana. (2022). About Us. http://www.eagledistributing.com/about-us/
  5. Freeman, D. (Artist). (Date Unknown). Budweiser Clydesdales Mural. [Photograph]. Crossties building, Texarkana, USA.
  6. Budweiser. (2022). Our History. https://www.budweiser.com/our-story