Mule Day and bringing an old, and needed, Columbia tradition back to life

The week after Mule Day always has a certain feel to it, when the animals are packed up, the wagons and campers are loaded and people start making their journeys home.

That is, until next year.

In Columbia, it’s a time when the streets get cleaned, the non-Mule Day locals come out of hiding and the city returns back to normal. It’s definitely a feeling that’s been present after this year’s return.

Yet, that’s only proof that Mule Day 2022 was a good one, and having Mule Day come back after everything that’s been going on in the world, there was something a little more to it this year. Part of the excitement, I think, was that it was a lot of people’s first Mule Day, considering how many of them probably moved here post-pandemic, not to mention all of the businesses that have opened.

Odd Osbourne competes in the Tennessee State Mule Pulling Championship during Mule Day in Columbia, Tenn., on Saturday, April 2, 2022.

With the success of Mule Day 2022, which drew more than 100,000 visitors this year, one thing I’m curious about is how much revenue the festival generated, which is still being determined.

Part of the curiosity is rooted in what kind of response Mule Day received after a two-year hiatus, but it’s more about how it will ultimately benefit the city’s overall finances.

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