Celebrating Mules in Tennessee

A mule is the offspring of a donkey and a horse. These animals have strong muscles, they eat less, work longer, and are gentle creatures. The First President of the US George Washington was also the first person in the country to own mules. Once Washington had heard that mules made good farm animals he wanted them. In 1785, King Charles III of Spain sent him a male donkey as a gift and that first donkey became the father of the mule industry.

Now in Maury County in Columbia, Tennessee, every April, Mule Day is celebrated. This day began as Breeder’s Day in the 1840s. At this time farmers and livestock, breeders brought their animals to show, buy, and trade. The mules were used as work animals to make running a farm easier until tractors replaced them and they were no longer as much in demand.

In 1934 a parade was also added to Mule Day to attract more people. As the years went by other activities were added and today there are over 200,000 people who gather for Mule Day with such fun activities as square dancing, craft fair, and a lumberjack competition.


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