Budweiser Clydesdales attract large crowd to Johnson City Christmas Parade
The streets of downtown Johnson City were packed with the largest crowd in recent memory as the Johnson City Christmas Parade made its way through town last Saturday morning.
For once, Santa Claus had to share top billing as those in attendance clamored to get a closer look at the famed Budweiser Clydesdales, who participated in the parade thanks to the efforts of Holston Distributing. The Clydesdales spent a week in the area, making a variety of appearances that culminated in Saturday’s trot through the streets of Johnson City.
This year’s parade was themed “Johnson City – Past, Present and Future” in honor of the city’s sesquicentennial celebration. The parade opened with a reenactor playing the role of Henry Johnson, the city’s first mayor, on a float marking the sesquicentennial.
The parade concluded with Santa Claus riding a recently restored 1928 Seagrave fire truck. With so much focus on the city’s history this year, it was fitting that the truck – which was used to fight fires in Johnson City for years out of Central Fire Hall – was back on the parade route.
The truck was repurposed into a parade vehicle in the 1970s before falling into disrepair, and efforts by the Johnson City Professional Firefighters Association, the City of Johnson City and several civic groups got the historic truck back out on the parade route in time for the sesquicentennial celebration.