The Day The Clydesdales Pranced Centre St., Fernandina Photo
Autumn,  Historic Downtown

Want To See The Budweiser Clydesdales?

Clydesdales Get Ready To Pull Wagon (Photo at Fernandina's Central Park 11-16-2012)
Clydesdales Get Ready To Pull Wagon (Photo from archives, Fernandina’s Central Park 11-16-2012)

A Moment in Time

It’s been five years this November 2017 since the world famous Budweiser Clydesdales pulled their red wagon along historic Centre Street in downtown Fernandina. The Palace Saloon, said to be “Florida’s oldest continuously-operated drinking establishment,” sponsored the Clydesdales’ Fernandina event. There’s history and lore about The Palace Saloon, Adolphus Busch and Prohibition Era, read some interesting tidbits further below.

These beautiful horses have a busy annual appearance schedule and travel around the country. Perhaps the Clydesdales will make an appearance in Fernandina again, some day. But you can see them in JAX from Nov. 15-26, 2017 when the Clydesdales visit Jacksonville’s Anheuser-Busch Brewery, (see schedule below).

Fernandina Flashback

It was a memorable day, November 16, 2012, in Fernandina when people waited along Centre Street in anticipation of their arrival. The Clydesdales have a magnetic force and their iconic Superbowl ads go down in history as some of the very best, often touching an emotional note. The Budweiser dalmatian “Brewer” was also a hit in Fernandina. A canine with regal air, he had such poise passing by crowds gathered downtown, as the red Budweiser wagon rolled by.

Budweiser's Dalmatian Named "Brewer" in Fernandina Beach Photo by Amelia Island Living eMagazine
Dalmatian Named “Brewer” in Fernandina (Photo from archives, Nov. 2012)

Clydesdales JAX Schedule

It’s an easy 30-mile drive to the JAX brewery taking Heckscher Drive off Amelia Island’s southend bridge to reach the Anheuser-Busch brewery.

Here’s the Clydesdales hours/dates at the Budweiser Brewery:

11/15-11/16 — Stable Viewing, Camera Day Hours 5-7 pm
11/17 — Stable Viewing
11/18 — Brewery Open House Event, Full Hitch 12-2 pm
11/19 — Full Hitch 12-2 pm
11/20-11/21 — Stable Viewing
11/22 — Full Hitch 12-2 pm
11/24-11/26 — Full Hitch 12-2 pm

Brewery Address: For your GPS or Google Maps, 111 Busch Drive, Jacksonville, FL 32218 (phone 904-696-8373). The Jacksonville Anheuser-Busch Brewery also offers free, self-guided tours and guided tours ($10 for adults aged 21+). Call for more info.

Clydesdales Pranced Centre, Fernandina Beach, Palace Saloon photo
Clydesdales Near Palace Saloon (Photo from archives, Nov. 16, 2012)

Prohibition Era

On the “Eve” of the start of Prohibition, the day before, The Palace Saloon is said to have recorded sales of $60,000 in a single day. That would be like the Palace ringing up $767,313 one day sales today**.

Adolphus Busch & Palace Saloon

Caryatid (Female Carving), Accents The Palace Saloon's Bar
Caryatid (Female Carving), Accents The Palace Saloon’s Bar
Have you heard the Palace Saloon’s centerpiece, a 40-foot bar, was reportedly designed with the help of no other than Adolphus Busch himself (co-founder of Anheuser-Busch)? Louis G. Hirth, who was apparently acquainted with Busch, bought the Prescott building and renovated the inside space, creating the Palace Saloon in 1903. German craftsmen were hired to carve the bar from English oak and black mahogany. Pictured, one of the bar’s two caryatids (female figurines).

Refresh your memory about the history of the Prohibition Era by watching this short video review presented below by the History Channel.

It was the Volstead Act (passed Oct. 28, 1919, A.K.A. The National Prohibition Act), that enforced the Eighteen Amendment “which forbade the manufacture, transportation and sale of intoxicating beverages.” America went dry as of January 17, 1920. Prohibition was repealed thirteen years later in 1933.
** The US dollar value of one day sales (buying power 2017) was estimated using U.S. Dept. of Labor Bureau of Statistics CPI Inflation Calculator, data through September 2017. One US dollar in January 1920 had same buying power as $12.79.