Annual Mule Festival Just Around the Corner
Clark County, designated as the Missouri Mule Capital, is the home of the Clark Co. Mule Festival. This festival is held the third full weekend in September, at the Clark Co. Fairgrounds, on Business Rte EE, east of Kahoka, MO located in the northeast corner of Missouri. On this weekend, this community event will entertain us with mule shows, crafts, flea markets, coloring contest by our area children, trail rides, and a rodeo. This event, brought to you by the non-profit Mule Festival committee is held to bring enjoyment to people of all ages, bring commerce to our community, and give our state animal lovers a chance to show off their mules. Camping, food, and crafts are available. The main gate is a cost of $2.00 per person for a commemorative button or band (10 yrs and under are free) that gives you access to a weekend of entertainment. So, come join this unique opportunity for a fun time for the whole family.
Camping is available on the grounds and fees will be collected at the front gate. NO reservations. Camping fees will start the first day you park on your spot and is a first come first serve bases! Campers may start setting up on the Sunday before the event at noon. No roping off. Electricity and primitive is available for a fee. You may also need an additional electrical cord. Please bring a fire ring. Electricity will be turned on the weekend before. For more camping information, contact Kathy Williams or Mary Rhodes. There will be sewer clean out during the weekend for a fee. Sign up at the office. The infield racetrack is reserved for livestock and their owners. Some stalls are available for rent by contacting Becki Krueger.
On Friday, the opening day, the vendors open at 8:00 a.m.. A Children's Event (without mules) will be held on Friday afternoon in the sand arena, in the infield. They will do some of the same events found in the regular Mule Show, but without mules. A Fish Fry will be held at suppertime, 4 - 7 p.m., by the Fine Arts Booster Club in the 4-H Pavilion near the entrance to the fairgrounds. The Friday night entertainment will start at 5:30 p.m. with the Mule Polo. This event is held in front of the grandstand. Anyone wishing to participate and be on a team should sign up at 5:00 p.m. under the announcer stand. Immediately following the Polo Match, we will have Team Penning, Team Roping, Goat Tying, and Steer Daubing. For more information contact Becki Krueger.
Saturday will begin with a trail ride, meeting at the north end of the infield and leaving at 7:00 a.m.. These rides are open to horses and mules, but all must have current Coggins test to enter grounds and 30-day health papers if out of state. Expect anywhere from 100 - 200 mules and horses to be there. It is a 2 - 3 hour ride south of the fairgrounds. Ralph and Mary Ann Plenge are in charge and may be contacted for more information. The Mule Show on Saturday will begin at about 10:00 a.m.. At this time the Clark Co. High School Marching Band of Kahoka, MO will open the festivities by performing several songs. The flag presentation will follow along with the Grand Entry of mules. The band will play the National Anthem. Events in the shows are held at random. Some of the events are Back-to-Back, Dumb Waiter, Dotty Parton Race, Mule Jumps, Tack on a Trailer, Pantyhose Race, Musical Tires, Monkey in a Tree, Coon Hunter Race, Pick-up Race, and maybe a surprise event. Linda Chockley will be back to entertain the crowds as our clown, as she has in the past years. There is no entry fee for participants. Participants must register under the announcer stand for a number and contestant prize drawings. Hand made trophies and ribbons are awarded. For more Festival information, contact Mike Schantz and Becki Krueger.
The Rodeo is our most popular event. It is held on Saturday evening at 7:00 p.m., first come first serve accommodations. There will be a balloon release before the Rodeo for MIA and POW by the Kahoka VFW Ladies Auxiliary to commemorate National MIA and POW week. Next will be the presentation of flags. Some rodeo events will be Bulls - 16+, Steer Buck Out, Bareback Mule Riding, Steer Dogging, Women's Barrel Racing, Girls - 15 & under - Barrel Racing, Breakaway Roping, Wild Cow Catch, and Team Penning. Books will open at 2:00 p.m. under the announcer stand until 4:00 p.m.. A number of clowns will be available for entertainment and the safety of the riders. Contestants will be limited to the availability of the livestock. Contestants 17 and under must have parental consent and 18+ need picture ID. 100% payback will be awarded to the winners. Entries are open to the public at a fee. For more Rodeo information, contact Mike Schantz or Bethany Wiemann.
Sunday will begin with a trail ride, meeting at the north end of the infield and leaving at 6:45 a.m.. The Fellowship of Christian Cowboys will hold Church service on Sunday morning at 8:00 a.m.. Service is held in the Grand Stand. The Mule Show will start on Sunday at 10:30 a.m. with our Mule Grand Entry. Some Sunday events are the Costume Contest, Halter Class, Mule Pull at noon, and the Arena Race at the end of the day.
A main attraction of the Mule Festival is the crafts. These open on Friday, Saturday, & Sunday at 8:00 a.m. in the big craft barn. About 23 crafting businesses will be there to display and sell a variety of items such as plastic or canvas crafts, quilts and rugs, wood crafts, metal art, baskets, ceramics, wildlife pictures, mule drawings (pen and ink), homemade jewelry, homemade items, and elk sticks. Other outside vendors at the Mule Festival carry a variety of items such as new and used tack, t-shirts and sweatshirts, hats, flea market items, radios/stereos, decals, belts, health products, Watkins products, knives, yard ornaments, antiques, jewelry, horse shoe gifts, personalized signs, rodeo hat company, a hot tub vendor, custom leather making, and a trailer salesman. Also several not-for-profit organizations will have booths to raise money for their good works. About 40 vendors will be available. There are lots of neat things to buy! For more information call Jamie Edmondson and Tina Sedore who are in charge of inside and outside vendors.
Many different kinds of food will be served at about 16 different food booths at the Mule Festival. A full breakfast will be served on Saturday and Sunday starting at 6:00 a.m.. Other kinds of food there are honey and candies, tenderloins and fries, shaved ice, corn dogs, funnel cakes, kettle corn, tacos, walking tacos, desserts, plate lunch meals, char-broiled rib-eye, chicken breast and butterfly chop sandwiches, homemade ice cream, hamburgers, mini donuts, pork rinds, strawberry shortcake, and a variety of pop and other drinks. For more information contact Jamie Edmondson.
There are many other events going on at the Mule Festival including prize giveaways, raffles, and contests.
The Mule Festival has many kinds of souvenirs to be sold at the Main Office. A new design will be offered on the hats, t-shirts, and sweatshirts, and a new Commemorative button design. Usually something new pops up each year. For more souvenir information, call Doris Courtney. Also at the main office will be a historical booth containing memorabilia of past Mule Festivals. Articles and pictures, as well as, past t-shirts, hats, and trophies will be there to see. A video of the first 10 years will be there to watch on TV. If you have any Mule Festival memorabilia you would like to display contact Debbie Logsdon.
Nighttime parking and transport will be provided. Parking will be down the old drag strip and in the new field west of the fairground. Handicap port-a-potties will be available as well as other potties over the grounds. Handicap parking is available if asked for. No mules or horses are allowed on the vendor alley and not allowed outside the grounds after dark. There is a quiet time after midnight. No ATV's will be allowed except for official Mule Festival vehicles and Handicap carts (must have official permission and a sticker upon arrival).
This is an event you will not want to miss. Hope to see you there to make some new friends, new memories, and have a good time.