50th KC St. Patrick parade: Teamsters Clydesdales, a nod to history

KANSAS CITY, Mo. — Tens of thousands of people lined the streets of Kansas City for the 50th annual St. Patrick’s Day parade.

The theme this year was “50 Cheers for 50 Years.”

The Teamsters wagon pulled by six beautiful Clydesdale horses couldn’t be missed. The team spent the weekend in Kansas City preparing for the parade.

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Teamsters Local Chapter 41 uses the Clydesdales to educate the public on the fact that the union was formed in 1903 to represent horse team drivers.

The team of six pulled a traditional black wagon with brass accents similar to the horse-drawn wagons used to move freight in the late 1800s and early 1900s.

A big part of the early union existed to support the rights of the animals that pulled their freight.

“Using an animal we worry about their welfare. I get asked all the time, these are horses live better than most people,” Teamster Zach Alden said.

“They have chiropractic care, dental care, personal ceiling fans. They live nice. We rotate horses if one isn’t feeling good we never ask them to do something that you shouldn’t. We have spares. We do watch out for the animals.”

The Teamsters Union includes 1.3 million members who work in the trucking industry, the funeral business and as airline pilots.

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