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Classic rock band Drivin’ N Cryin’ headlining Mule Camp Market this year
New layout, big band coming to the market this year
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Drivin’ N Cryin’. Photo by Lisa Mac.

Atlanta-based rock band, Drivin’ N Cryin’, is headlining this year’s Mule Camp Market coming in early October.

Fall has finally come back around and that means it’s time for football, pumpkin-spice everything and of course, Gainesville’s famous market. The most electric part of the event, Saturday night’s concert, is getting a jump this year from the band that hit with “Straight to Hell,” “Fly Me Courageous” and “Honeysuckle Blue” in its 30-year career.

The market may look a little different with all the construction happening around the downtown Gainesville square, but that doesn't mean the event will be any less the Mule Camp Market Gainesville expects.

The market has around 160 vendors scheduled for the weekend market Oct. 12-14 on the square. And with 2018 being Hall County’s bicentennial year, the Gainesville Jaycees, who host the event, want to make sure things go off without a hitch.

“We’re just using a little bit more space going down streets, where in the past we haven’t had to go as far down,” said Lee Towns, co-director of Mule Camp Market. “And the actual square itself, the grassy area in the middle of the square, we haven’t used that area in the past, but we talked to the city and they’ve allowed us to use that for extra space.”

With a little help from the county, the Jaycees were able to schedule Drivin’ N Cryin’, the biggest name they’ve ever had on stage at Mule Camp.

“They’re more of an 80s-type rock band that had a few big hits back in the day,” Towns said.

The band, also in the Georgia Music Hall of Fame, will perform in a new location this year: Roosevelt Square, just off the downtown square, sandwiched between Gainesville City Hall and the Brenau Downtown Center.

Organizers believe the other square will offer plenty of room for guests wanting to see Drivin’ N Cryin’.

“We haven't had a large artist or as popular of a band as we do this year,” Towns said. “They came up in one of our meetings, and I think they have a pretty big following around the North Georgia area. Somebody in the Jaycees had a contact for them and we reached out and were able to make it work.”

With a bigger name playing downtown, food vendors will stay open later on Saturday and Tap It will provide drinks on location at Roosevelt Square.

The free concert will open at 6 p.m. with a couple of local bands the Jaycees are still scheduling. The main act will begin playing around 7:30 p.m.

During the day and throughout the whole weekend, though, the streets of downtown Gainesville will be lined with all the local and national vendors visitors know and love, along with some 40 new vendors this year. Many of those newer vendors feature distressed furniture and decor.

“The thing I’ve noticed an increase in is a good bit of home decor, the antique-type furniture,” Towns said. “It’s that ‘Chip and JoJo’ look that everybody's going for.”

Even with the modified layout of Mule Camp Market, the goal remains the same. Revenue from the event goes toward the Empty Stocking Fund, which helps children and families in need during Christmastime. Even when things get stressful, that’s what helps the organizers push through.

“It’s stressful at times, especially leading up to it, but we’ve got guys that help out for sure,” Towns said. “A lot of the guys that have ran it in the past are still in the club and lend their hand as much as they can. It’s a group effort.”

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Crowds gather during Mule Camp Market in Gainesville, on Oct. 7, 2017. - photo by David Barnes
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