Friday, April 9, 2010

It's Mule Day in Middle TN!

I thought I would divert from sewing today and and tell you about an annual event in my town. I live in a unique town that is known for it's....haha....mules! When we first moved here 17 years ago, I thought "Mule Day" was a joke. I soon found out that it's taken really quite seriously here and brings people from all over the world to our little town! It's really quite a BIG deal here!

Mule Day is an annual celebration of all things related to mules and it is held here in Columbia, Tennessee, the "Mule Capital" of the world. Begun in 1840 as "Breeder's Day", a meeting for mule breeders, it now attracts over 200,000 people and takes place over four days. In addition to mules, traditional Appalachian food, music, dancing, and crafts are featured, all complete with even a Mule Day Queen and her court! 

In the 1840s mule dealing began in Columbia, with the area quickly developing into a crossroads for mule trading in the United States. The street sales became nationally known and, in 1934, Columbia's "Market Day" on the first Monday in April expanded to a bona-fide celebration complete with a parade and special activities. It all begins when the Wagon Train heads into town with a police escort!
On Saturday morning there will be a HUGE parade thru town with many businesses, schools and churches participating in floats, not to mention a gazillion mules marching thru town. This year's Grand Marshall is Naomi Judd!
In addition to the parade, Mule Day events now include a clogging contest, a barbeque dinner, chuck wagon show, flea market, liar's contest, mule sale, a pancake breakfast, knife sale, old time fiddlers contest and a crafts festival. There is something for everyone and now that I have a grandchild, it makes it lots of fun to see him get so excited about all the horses and mules! My grandson is hoping to hop a ride on a pony or mule this weekend, and I think it just might be able to happen for him! The mules are really a beautiful animal! I just love their long ears!

I hope you enjoyed my little diversion from my sewing journal, as I shared something unique about my town!


Julia said...

I am so glad you told us about this. I've never heard of mule day. We're over in East TN. It really looks like a fun festival!!!!

Memaw's memories said...

It sounds like a lot of fun.

My son was driving down a road one day and saw two mules who were not being cared for. He stopped, found out who owned them and bought them. When he sold them 2 years later, they were sleek, shiny, healthy and happy.

Goosegirl said...

How fun! I had never heard of this either. But I love any kind of festival. Thank you for sharing this Laurie.


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