STURGIS – The iconic Budweiser Clydesdales are coming to Sturgis this year.
The Clydesdales, an enduring symbol of the brewer’s heritage, tradition and
commitment to quality, will appear at the opening ceremonies of the 83 rd City of
Sturgis Motorcycle Rally, and again during Military Appreciation Day.
The team of horses and historic beer wagon will stage at the Sturgis Public Works
campus on Friday, Aug. 4, head up Junction Avenue, turn right on Sherman Street,
take another right on Harley-Davidson Way to Main Street. They will be parked
for a time on Harley-Davidson Way adjacent to Harley-Davidson Rally Point.
A single horse and handler will leave the Public Works campus on Dudley Street
about 2 p.m. Tuesday, Aug. 8, for Military Appreciation Day, continue down First
Street and then turn onto Main Street. It will continue down Main Street to
Harley-Davidson Way where it will stand stationary for a time adjacent Harley-
Davidson Rally Point.
“We’re excited to have the Clydesdales return for this year’s Rally,” said Sturgis
Rally & Events Director Tammy Even-Cordell. “These majestic horses are always a
huge draw with rallygoers. We look forward to their procession down our streets.
They are really something to see.”
Here is a list of scheduled appearances for the Budweiser Clydesdales while in
Monday (7/31): Central State Fair Grounds
• Team arrival, no shows
• Horse prep day, no shows
Wednesday (8/2): Sickies Garage
1040 Harley-Davidson Way, Sturgis, SD 57785, (605) 347-4422, www.sturgis-sd.gov
• Sickies Garage – Rapid City, 6 p.m. to 8 p.m. (Single horse)
Thursday (8/3): Rapid City Summer Nights
• Downtown Rapid City, SD (7 th Street), 5 p.m. to 7 p.m. (Single horse)
Friday (8/4): City of Sturgis
• Opening Day Ceremony, 3 p.m. to 5 p.m. (Full hitch)
Saturday (8/5): Sturgis Buffalo Chip
20622 Fort Meade Way, Sturgis, SD, 5:30 p.m. to 7:30 p.m. (Full hitch)
Rest Day, No Shows
Monday (8/7):– Full Throttle Saloon
• 19942 SD-79, Vale, SD, 5 p.m. to 7 p.m. (Full hitch)
Tuesday (8/8): Military Appreciation Day downtown Sturgis
• 985 Harley-Davidson Way, 2 p.m. (Single horse)
Wednesday (8/9): Downtown Sturgis
• Loud American + One Eyed Jacks + Bud Garage 1 p.m. to 3 p.m. (single
Thursday (8/10): Iron Horse Saloon
• 888 Junction Ave, Sturgis, 1 p.m. to 3 p.m. (single horse)
Friday (8/11): Quality Brands Activation
• Central States Fair Grounds (800 San Francisco St., Rapid City), 4 p.m. to 7
HISTORY OF THE BUDWEISER CLYDESDALES
In April 1933, August A. Busch, Jr. and Adolphus Busch III surprised their father,
August A. Busch, Sr., with the gift of a six-horse Clydesdale hitch to commemorate
the repeal of Prohibition of beer.
Realizing the marketing potential of a horse-drawn beer wagon, the company also
arranged to have a second six-horse Clydesdale hitch sent to New York to mark
the event. The Clydesdales drew a crowd of thousands on their way to the Empire
State Building. After a small ceremony, a case of Budweiser was presented to
former Governor Alfred E. Smith in appreciation of his years of service in the fight
This hitch continued on a tour of New England and the Mid-Atlantic states,
thrilling thousands, before stopping in Washington, D.C., in April 1933 to reenact
the delivery of one of the first cases of Budweiser to President Franklin Delano
Shortly after the hitch was first introduced, the six-horse Clydesdale team
increased to eight. On March 30, 1950, in commemoration of the opening of the
Anheuser-Busch Newark Brewery, a Dalmatian was introduced as the Budweiser
Clydesdales’ mascot. Now, a Dalmatian travels with each of the Clydesdale
DID YOU KNOW?
Each of the Clydesdales’ handcrafted harnesses and collars weigh
approximately 130 pounds.
The Budweiser Clydesdales are given short names, such as Duke, Mark and
Bud, to make it easier for the driver to give commands to the horses during
Budweiser Clydesdales’ horseshoes measure more than 20 inches from end
to end and weigh about 5 pounds.
Dalmatians were known as coach dogs because they ran between the
wheels of coaches or carriages and were companions to the horses. Since
the 1950s, Dalmatians have traveled with the Budweiser Clydesdales hitch,
perched atop the wagon proudly seated next to the driver.
The turn-of-the-century beer wagons have been meticulously restored and
are kept in excellent condition. The wagons are equipped with two braking
systems: a hydraulic pedal device that slows the vehicle for turns and
downhill descents, and a hand-brake that locks the rear wheels when the
wagon is at a halt.