RIPLEY - The City of Ripley is excited that the famous Budweiser Clydesdales are coming to town to be the grand finale of the annual Veterans Day Parade at 10 a.m. on Friday, November 11.

In addition, the famous horses will be available for public viewing during their stay at the Jackson County Fairgrounds for three days: Thursday, November 10, 2016, 9 a.m.-5 p.m.; Saturday, November 12, 9 a.m.-12 noon; and Sunday, November 13, 9 a.m.-5 p.m.

Mayor Carolyn Rader said the theme for the special event will be “The City of Ripley and the Budweiser Clydesdales Salute Our Veterans.”

“It’s a dream come true for us. We’ve tried so hard to get them here for so long. But we don’t want to lose sight of what the whole parade is about,” said Mayor Rader, “and that is honoring our military veterans.”

Eight of the striking horses will pull the signature Budweiser wagon in the parade with drivers and a Dalmation aboard. Proud Eagle Distributing is making the Clydesdales’ visit possible.

“We want to make this an experience for them, their team and everyone,” said Rader.

This year’s parade will stage at Ripley Elementary School parking lot with a reception at the new Primary Center. The parade will travel through the high school property and turn right onto Route 21 and proceed north to the stoplight at the intersection of Church and Main streets. 

The parade lineup will include Grand Marshal POWs, WWII, Korean, Vietnam and post-Vietnam, the Ripley High School Marching Band, other marching units and so on.

This is the third year for the Military Honor March of family members carrying photo posters of veterans.

West Virginia Adjutant, Major General James A. Hoyer will also be in town to be emcee at the Courthouse veterans program.

Former Gulf War POW Jessica Lynch will be the keynote speaker at the Veterans Day program on the Courthouse lawn, following the parade through town.

The Charleston Metro band will perform a patriotic concert at the gazebo immediately following the veterans program.