KNOXVILLE, Tenn. (WATE)- The world-famous Budweiser Clydesdale Horses made their way across East Tennessee this week.
One of their final stops was in Knoxville today.
They were at World’s Fair Park as Visit Knoxville announced plans for their World’s Fair 40th Anniversary Celebration next year. Hundreds came out to see the Clydesdales and learn about what’s to come.
For a lot of people, it brought back memories from the World’s Fair.
City of Knoxville Mayor Indya Kincannon said, “When you see those Clydesdales you know good things are coming and that’s why we brought them back here today.”
The Clydesdales were last here in 2014.
“The Clydesdales, they’re just fantastic in my book,” said Howard Oliver who used to be a handler for the horses in the 50s and 60s.
The Clydesdales have been in Knoxville a few times including at the opening of the World’s Fair 40 years ago.
“We were here many many many moons ago,” said Oliver.
The Seymour native added,
“I was with the brewers for 18 years and I worked myself up the ladder and during the course of the ladder time I got to be a promotional manager ahead of them.”
He was hoping to get up close with the animals and their handlers while they were back in East Tennessee.
Sunday, his dream came true.
“I talked to all the handlers, I talked to the driver, I held the horses coming up to get harnessed”
The Clydesdales mimicked the timeline when they were here in November 1981 to mark the official kickoff of the World’s Fair.
Sunday, plans were revealed for the 40th anniversary.
“We will be having a kick-off celebration May 20th and 21st,” said Visit Knoxville President Kim Bumpas.
The event will start off with a concert in the amphitheater followed by other family-fun activities.
Since 1982, the Sunsphere has served as an iconic feature of Knoxville’s Skyline and for many it brings back memories of the World’s Fair.
For Howard Oliver, the World’s Fair is a distant memory,
“I’m 90 years old. I can’t remember back that far,” he said.
For Oliver, the Budweiser Clydesdales have been a part of his life that he hopes he will never forget.
Visit Knoxville also announced that on February 22, 2022, they will have a soft opening of the newly renovated observation deck of the Sunsphere.
Visit Knoxville said they will have more announcements about specific events for the 40th Anniversary Celebration.