When Microkhan posted yesterday about a California mule festival, he had no idea he was getting mixed up in a national spat. As several kind readers brought to our attention, the 40-year-old Mule Days celebration is a Johnny-come-lately compared to Mule Day (singular) in Columbia, Tenn. The hoedown in the Volunteer State is said to date all the way back to the 1840s, when it started as an annual livestock show. It’s since grown into a nearly week-long party sponsored by the likes of Purity Dairies and James K. Polk’s Ancestral Home.
Mule Day’s centerpiece is the crowning of the Mule Day Queen. This year’s coronation of Rachel Ethridge (above), alas, was marred by a backstage theft. If you have any leads on the culprit, said to be a heavily tattooed woman with straight black hair, please alert these good folks.
Special Bonus: Fertile mules in South Africa, circa 1932.