Posted: Friday, October 11th 2013 at 3:42pm
Mule Camp Market celebrates 20 years on the square
By Alyson Shields Staff
Rows of vendors line the streets. Many stores are still open behind the tents, in addition to many having tents themselves.
GAINESVILLE – Mule Camp Market, sponsored by the Gainesville Jaycees, has been a Gainesville tradition each fall for the past 20 years. The three-day, weekend festival consists of everything from craft vendors to children’s activities to concerts.
A few things were different for the 20th anniversary, including extended hours. The fair is open Friday and Saturday from 10 a.m. to 7 p.m. and on Sunday from noon until 5 p.m.
A new rule was put in place this year that requires non-profits to sell an item and those asking for donations not to wander out of their tent or designated area. The new regulation didn't stop many nonprofits from finding simple things to sell or give with a donation, ranging from cotton candy to handmade key chains.
A concert will be held Saturday at 6 p.m. The concert is free and features the Joe Olds Band, Twisted Whiskey and Asphalt Cowboys. The carnival hosted by the Jaycees in conjunction with Mule Camp is also open.
Vendors of all kinds spread out on the square, featuring arts and crafts, children’s clothes, hair bows, homemade treats, iron works, jewelry, homemade soaps and skin care items, pet products, Christmas bounce houses, raffles and even a petting zoo. Breast cancer research, Disabled Veterans of America and the Whisker Project were a few philanthropies that made an appearance. A full list of vendors is linked below.
Festival food is abundant at Mule Camp. Like previous years, the parking lot next to the square was transformed into a food court, but several food and drink vendors were dispersed throughout the square. Deep fried snacks, funnel cake, boiled peanuts and fresh lemonade are all crowd favorites.
During this annual event, the roads in the square are closed off to vehicle traffic. The roads will reopen Sunday evening.
Mule Camp was named after “Mule Camp Springs,” the original name of what is now the city of Gainesville. It was originally a farmers market, then the Corn Tassel Festival and became Mule Camp Market when the Jaycees began operating it in 1993, according to the Gainesville Jaycees website.
Link: List of Mule Camp Vendors for 2013
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