Thomasville Times Enterprise

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November 5, 2009

Rounding up for Mule Day

THOMASVILLE — Hitch up the wagons and ride to Calvary for the 37th annual Mule Day on Saturday.

The event is the first Saturday in November each year and is sponsored by the Calvary Lions Club. It usually garners 60,000 to 90,000 participants annually.

“Some people come for the syrup, others for the parade, and others for the vendors,” Sue Rodemoyer, a club officer, said. “But all of it pulled together is what makes Mule Day. It means something different to everybody.”

One group of expected participants are the Longriders, a group of horse riders and wagons that travel from Tifton to Calvary each year.

The group camped outside Boston Wednesday evening.

“We’ve got about 40 wagons and 75 horse riders with us,” co-founder Wallace Turner said. “We’ve got people from more than 20 states. Five of us started this as a way to come down and sort of stop and smell the roses. It’s sort of like a family reunion.”

Troy Smith, of Gadsden, Ala., brought his horse, Major.

“I just like riding and having a good time,” he said.

A pilau dinner and auction are scheduled for today and some people come early to check out the grounds.

“It is not Mule Day, but is sort of an informal preview for local people,” Rodemoyer said.

Students from Shiver Elementary School’s Georgia History class are also expected to put on skit performances.

Saturday’s events include a parade, arts and crafts vendors and the mule show.

“At the beginning we were a little slow with crafts vendors, but about halfway through the process it picked up with a vengeance,” Rodemoyer said. “We will have 450 vendors and have people coming in for the first time from Florida and Tennessee. The parade is also as big as ever.”

She does not think the economy will negatively impact Mule Day.

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