The Southeast Tourism Society (STS) has named Benson Mule Days one of the Top 20 Events in the Southeast for September, 2016.
This year’s festival is scheduled for September 21–25, and was submitted for consideration by the Johnston County Visitors Bureau, who is charged with promoting the county’s tourism assets to attract visitors to the county. “Benson Mule Days has been bringing visitors to the county from around the world for more than 60 years, and the largest annual event in the county is deserving of the recognition from the Southeast Tourism Society committee,” stated Donna Bailey-Taylor, President/CEO of the bureau.
Mule Days, considered one of the largest festivals in North Carolina, celebrates the work of the farmer, local merchants, and, of course, the hard working mule. It marks a time of harvest and celebration for everyone who is part of the larger Benson community. The festival draws approximately 50,000 people to this charming community of 3,600 located at the crossroads of I-95 and I-40 just 30 minutes east of Raleigh NC. Mule Days is full of family fun and activities for everyone young and old: rodeos, a mule jumping contest, arts and crafts, vendors, carnival rides, camping, parades, bluegrass shows and more.
Loretta Byrd, President of the Benson Chamber, said that the spirit of Mule Days hasn’t changed much since its beginnings in 1950, ” The first celebration was a few hundred participants with mule pulling contests, tobacco spitting contests, and the largest family contest. While some of the contests have changed, the Benson Chamber of Commerce continues to make Mule Days a fun, family oriented festival.”
STS, founded in 1983 and headquartered in Atlanta, Ga., is a non-profit organization dedicated to promoting tourism to and within 12 states – Alabama, Arkansas, Florida, Georgia, Kentucky, Louisiana, Mississippi, North Carolina, South Carolina, Tennessee, Virginia and West Virginia.