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Benson festival is all about the mules

Posted on August 30, 2021

Wide Awake Wilson
Mules participate in the festival's traditional parade. Contributed photo

Mules participate in the festival's traditional parade. Contributed photo

Catch a rodeo at Mule Days in Benson this year. Contributed photo

Catch a rodeo at Mule Days in Benson this year. Contributed photo

Mules participate in the festival's traditional parade. Contributed photo

Mules participate in the festival's traditional parade. Contributed photo

Catch a rodeo at Mule Days in Benson this year. Contributed photo

Catch a rodeo at Mule Days in Benson this year. Contributed photo

Catch a rodeo at Mule Days in Benson this year. Contributed photo
Mules participate in the festival's traditional parade. Contributed photo

BENSON — Since 1949, crowds have swarmed the town of Benson to celebrate Mule Days, a festival originated to celebrate farmers and build community spirit by centering the celebration around the town’s main draft animal, the mule.

“The Benson community is beyond excited to welcome back our much loved tradition, Benson Mule Days,” said Loretta Byrd, president/CEO of the Benson Area Chamber of Commerce. “Plans are underway to make this year’s event the best one ever.”

The four-day festival, held this year Sept. 23-26, features a packed schedule of rodeos, arts and crafts, mule competitions, music, carnival rides, camping, dancing and the popular Mule Days parade. The parade will be held Saturday, Sept. 25, at 10 a.m. on Main Street in Benson and lasts approximately 2 1/2 hours.

Byrd said with the cancellation of last year’s festival due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the public is more than ready to pull into Benson for the weekend’s festivities. Organizers believe the 2021 festival could top the previous years’ attendance rates of nearly 30,000 people over the four-day event.

“According to the interest and excitement shown in the past several months, we expect this year’s Benson Mule Days to be the largest one in years,” Byrd said. “We invite everyone to join us and experience the weekend with us.” 

Organizers said that all COVID restrictions mandated by the Johnston County Health Department will be in place and ask that vendors and visitors be extra cautious.

For a complete listing of events, visit bensonmuledays.com.

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