The small town of Benson with a population of around 3,500 will swell to approximately 30,000 come September 21-24 when the 68th Annual Benson Mule Days Celebration, sponsored by the Benson Area Chamber of Commerce, takes place.
A blanket of excitement covers the area as visitors merge into the town area and outlying regions bringing horses, mules, wagons, campers and unusual equine contraptions to settle down for a four-day hiatus. Wednesday and Thursday campers settle in as they prepare to attend the concert which will be held on Thursday night at6:00 PM in the Benson Singing Grove on Main Street. This year’s bands are Tim Hair and the Steel County Express and Nashville artist, Amanda Daughtry. There is no charge for admission.
Friday, visitors can enjoy many events including the “Mule Competitions” held in the Chamber Park and Arena. They will see mule coon jumping, a mule race, Best of Show and many other events. From these competitors the “Grand Champion” is chosen and will be in the Benson Mule Daysâ parade on Saturday. If you haven’t seen a mule competition this is a “must see” for the whole family. Main Street will be alive with entertainment on Friday from 12:00 Noon – until 8:00. There will be music throughout the afternoon plus art displays from the children at Benson Middle School. And, it is always fun to walk into the local businesses which offer a variety of products in our area.
Saturday is a big day at Benson Mule Days as thousands of spectators grapple for a place to sit or stand to observe the one of the biggest parades in North Carolina. Bands, floats, Shriner units, classic cars, antique tractors, unique entries, beauty queens, and hundreds of horses, mules, buggies, wagons and more make their way down Main Street of Benson beginning at 10:00 AM.
Following the parade visitors can make their way to the Singing Grove Park where a Bluegrass show is being presented, visit the arts and crafts vendors as well the commercial vendors. The carnival is alive and well and a rodeo is in full blast at the Chamber Park and Arena. There are actually three rodeos of which the first begins on Friday night followed by a Saturday night and Sunday afternoon performance.
There is a lot to do during Benson Mule Days and it is a great time to stroll the beautiful town of Benson. Take time to visit the Mule Days web site at www.bensonmuledays.com. 2016 Mule Days Photos by John Payne