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Thursday, April 10, 2014

The Grand and Glorious Mule Days of Columbia, TN

It seems like almost every American town has some sort of celebration… Strawberry Stomp or Sauerkraut Days or Rattlesnake Festival… you just never know what is going to be feted.

In Columbia, TN it is “Mule Days”.  It is a celebration of all things mule.  Everywhere you look there are mules.

Mules in front of you…

Mules behind you…

Mules waiting at the stoplight with you…

The big event is the Mule Parade.  We seriously thought it would be done in 30 minutes max.  Wrong!  We left for the fairground after 2 hours of mules passing by us, with a lot more still coming. 

Passing on by us.

There were mules pulling wagons…

HUNDREDS of mules pulling wagons…

There were mules being ridden…

And some horses sneaked in on the action too.  (Many of them were Tennessee Walkers.)

A few of the parade entries were ‘horse power’ instead of mule powered.

As I mentioned, we left the parade route early to head up to the fairgrounds.  Typical fair offerings were to be had.

If I’d known what size Little Bird and Little Hoss wore, I’d have left with a couple cowboy hats!

There were soooo many ‘fair food’ vendors.  I was good and only had an ice tea when we first got there and a shaved ice as we left.

We stood for a bit to watch this gentleman do a sketch.

He was good.  This was after a couple minutes.

Then we headed over to the stadium where the pulling contest was happening.  These mules were really into pulling… they wanted to GO!  (This explained a lot about a pair of Belgian mares I helped trained.  The Ft Campbell stables bought them for hay rides.  The girls had been used for pulling contests and the first 20 seconds after they were hitched up got a wee bit exciting as they took off like rockets.)

Every team had a big ol’ boy who would stand in front of them trying to keep them from leaping into their pull too early.  

It’s not a place I’d want to be standing!

After seeing what we wanted, we headed over to the barn to cool off.

Seems we wandered in at nap time.

The minis were sleeping too.

This spottie had a bad attitude about having his nap spoiled.

…A really bad attitude…

These mini spotties dozed and nibbled more contentedly.

And this ol’ boy was just plumb tuckered out!

Once we cooled off, we went over to the show ring to see the fancy mules.

See… mules can be beautiful!  My favorite is the dark brown (black?) team.  They glowed in the sunlight.

By the end of the day, I was ready to bring a mule home with me!  This little sweetie would have done just fine.


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