84th Rally, Aug. 2nd-11th, Begins in

Budweiser Clydesdales Coming to Sturgis
August 4, 2023

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 83rd 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 Sturgis:

Monday (7/31): Central State Fair Grounds

• Team arrival, no shows

Tuesday (8/1):

• Horse prep day, no shows

Wednesday (8/2): Sickies Garage

• Sickies Garage – Rapid City, 6 p.m. to 8 p.m. (Single horse)

Thursday (8/3): Rapid City Summer Nights

• Downtown Rapid City, SD (7th 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)

Sunday (8/6):

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 horse)

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 p.m.



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 against Prohibition.

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 Roosevelt.

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 hitches.



· 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 a performance.

· 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.