Tens of thousands of people crowded downtown Patchogue Wednesday to get a glimpse of the famed Budweiser Clydesdales as they trotted down Main Street, making beer deliveries to four local restaurants.
The eight-horse hitch staged at Anheuser-Busch’s new Blue Point Brewery toward the west end of the village, where the horses’ trailers were greeted by hundreds who encircled the gates.
The hitch turned onto Main Street from West Avenue around 5 p.m., resulting in immediate oohs and aahs, and a crowd of people going on about how beautiful the animals are.
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Hundreds of cell phones would go up in air as the horses made their appearance through the ever-swelling crowd.
“Oh, my gosh. I’ve never seen them before,” said Linda Sulzer of Holbrook. “They are absolutely stunning … breathtaking. You couldn’t pass up the opportunity not to see them right here.”
The parade was hosted by Anheuser-Busch’s regional distributor, Clare Rose, which is now based in Yaphank but had called Patchogue home since the 1930s.
“I’m so pleased they came to Patchogue,” said Patchogue Mayor Paul Pontieri. “And if you look up and down Main Street, all you see is kids and families … The clydesdales are iconic figures in this country and people are excited.”
Attendance wise, David Kennedy, the executive director of the Greater Patchogue Chamber of Commerce, said he figured the parade drew “Alive After Five numbers.” The summer street festivals each typically draw well over 20,000 people to Patchogue.
“There is a connection to Patchogue’s history with Clare Rose, which started here in Patchogue. And they would bring the clydesdales out in the 1970s as a kid. So it’s bringing me back to my youth. They’re just impressive animals and it’s an honor to have them in our community.”
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Missed it? The clydesdales are scheduled to trot down Main Street in Bay Shore at 5 p.m. tomorrow, on Thursday, but heavy rainfall could threaten to cancel that event. There is no rain date.
Check sister site GreaterBayShore.com for updates.