Yee Haw! As I write this we are headed
to Columbia, Tenn., for Mule Day. It always happens the first weekend
in April and although I am usually supporting events in Monroe
County, this is one I will promote for Middle Tennessee.
For those of you who do not know,
Columbia became "famous" for its mules almost 200 years ago. Mule
Day was first known as "Breeders Day" when it began in 1840.
Columbia was well known for being THE place to buy a well-trained,
level-headed mule. Farmers used to flock to the town on the first
Monday of each April to attend the mule sale there. The event went
strong for more than 100 years, when tractors and World War II put an
end to the sales. The Maury County Bridle and Saddle Club revived the
event in 1974 as a fundraiser.
Today, Mule Day has evolved. While
people do still buy and sell mules there, for the most part, people
just come to see the mules. Some mules pull wagons, others turn the
belts and gears that make machinery work, some work the land, and
some compete for blue ribbons and prize money. Can you believe there
is even a mule show, which is basically a beauty contest for mules?
Of course there is also a beauty
contest for humans. On Saturday, the Mule Day Queen will be crowned.
I think I have a good shot this year…
Also on Saturday, the mule pulling
state championship will be held. Two mules work together to pull a
heavy sled that can weigh more than two tons! Folks, that's a lot
of mule power. This is my favorite thing to watch. It always amazes
me how the smallest mules seem to pull the heaviest loads. It all
depends on how well they are matched, how much they are willing to
work and of course, how loudly I cheer…
Mule Day offers music, dancing, snacks,
contests, and the traditional arts and crafts fair. I plan to
participate in the cornhole tournament, an auctioneer contest, a
liar's contest and I will also being sampling lots and lots of
deliciously bad-for-me food.
I know I am telling you all this too
late for this year. Mark your calendars for 2014. Visit the website,
www.muleday.com to plan your trip.
It is estimated that more than 200,000
people come to Columbia for about a week during Mule Day. The
economic impact of the event is an estimated $10 million to $12
million. Not bad for a long-eared, long-nosed, knobby-kneed,
characteristically stubborn cousin of the pretty-boy horse.
Melissa Kinton is a stay-at-home mom.
She is currently rearing one son, one daughter, two cats, two horses,
two dogs, and one husband. She may be reached at