The Express Clydesdales at the 2014 Sanford Christmas Parade. Courtesy of Joe Clancy.

The 2018 iteration of Sanford’s annual Christmas parade is nearly a year away, but there’s already one element of the event potential attendees can get excited about – the Express Employment Professionals Clydesdale horses, which were a hit at the 2014 parade, will return in December.

Joe Clancy, a Sanford-based franchise owner for Express Employment Professionals announced the news this week. The horses are known for having participated in several high profile events, including the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade, the Orange Bowl Parade, and more.

“The Express Clydesdales made their first appearance in the Sanford Christmas Parade in 2014 and we are excited to have them returning for 2018,” said Clancy.

A statement from the Sanford franchise gives some background on the horses:

“Of a rare black and white color, the Express Employment Professionals Clydesdales stand six feet at the shoulders and weigh more than 2,000 pounds each. Their shoes are the size of dinner plates and weigh more than three pounds each.

In addition to competing on a national stage, the Express Clydesdales of Express Employment Professionals have participated in some of the most recognized parades and promotional events in the world, including the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade, the Tournament of Roses Parade, the Fiesta Bowl Parade, Orange Bowl Parade, Hollywood Parade, Calgary Stampede Parade, Kentucky Derby Pegasus Parade, the International Finals Rodeo and the Professional Bull Riders World Finals.

The Clydesdales enjoyed a historic moment when they escorted Prince William and the Duchess of Cambridge in North America at the Calgary Stampede in 2011.”

The Sanford Express Employment Professionals franchise, located at 307 N. Horner Blvd.,  opened in 2012 and serves Lee, Harnett, Hoke, and Moore counties with temporary help and direct hire employees in a variety of fields, including commercial, light industrial and administrative.