The 38th annual Downtown Bristol Christmas Parade — featuring the Budweiser Clydesdales — will be held tonight.
The parade starts at 7 p.m. on Bob Morrison Boulevard and will continue down State Street.
In the mid-1800s, Canadians of Scottish descent brought the first Clydesdales to America. The massive animals are now used primarily for breeding and show, according to a news release.
Horses chosen for the Budweiser Clydesdale hitch must be at least 3 years old, stand 6 feet tall, weigh 2,000 pounds and be bay in color with four white legs, a blaze of white on the face with a black mane and tail. A gentle temperament is also important.
One Clydesdale hitch horse consumes 20-25 quarts of feed, 40-50 pounds of hay and 30 gallons of water a day, the release states.
The parade will feature more than 150 floats from local businesses, civic and volunteer organizations, church groups, bands, schools, neighborhood groups and others. Santa Claus will also make his annual appearance on the last float in the parade lineup.
Bristol Tennessee Essential Services, Ballad Health, Bristol Regional Medical Center, Bill Gatton Automotive Group, Food City’s Euclid Avenue location, the Bristol Herald Courier and the cities of Bristol, Tennessee and Bristol, Virginia are parade sponsors.
Holston Distributing Co. will provide the Budweiser Clydesdales. The Bristol Chamber of Commerce coordinates the parade.