Thousands of Villagers and their guests lined Meggison Road to watch the Budweiser Clydesdales pull their beer wagon in celebration of St. Patrick’s Day.
The eight-horse team led the familiar Anheuser-Busch wagon from Sawgrass Grove up to the first roundabout north on Meggison Road where the team turned and retraced the route back to Sawgrass Grove where an overflow crowd greeted them.
Lifelong Michigan friends Pattie Roth, who resides in the Village of Dunedin, and Jennifer Wilson, of the Village of Hillsborough, sported green tutus in the spirit of St. Patrick’s Day. Roth and Wilson had been next-door neighbors when they lived in White Lake, Mich.
A large contingent of residents from the Village of Hawkins took up a sizable section of the roundabout on the route. They were mostly attired in green and were having a great time celebrating the day.
Frank Colonese, who lives in the Village of Chitty Chatty, was celebrating St. Patrick’s Day while awaiting the Clydesdales with a friend from Mount Dora, who claimed to be a leprechaun.
Colonese was wearing a kilt and Guinness rugby jersey while his leprechaun buddy sported a green shirt and top hat. They planned to make it a day-long celebration.
The Budweiser team on parade in The Villages is one of three teams which are based out of Boonville, Mo. near St. Louis. The teams are on the road 300 days of the year. Ten horses make up each team which are rotated into the eight-horse harness. The two-man team driving the wagon was accompanied by an eight-month old Dalmatian dog named Naddy. Two Dalmatians accompany each team as they travel around the country. Following the beer wagon were two men in a Budweiser adorned golf cart with a large red Budweiser labeled garbage can. The passenger was armed with a large scoop shovel and he diligently kept the road clean.