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A sure sign of fall: It's Mule Camp Market time
Gainesville's autumn festival offers music, crafts, food and children's fun
One of the many displays of art work at last year's Mule Camp Market. This year's festival runs Friday through Sunday in downtown Gainesville.

Mule Camp Market Festival

What: Music, arts and crafts, mule rides, food, live entertainment

When: begins 10 a.m. Oct. 7-9

Where: Downtown Gainesville square

More info: Gainesville Jaycees

Three sure signs of autumn: The air gets cooler, the leaves turn color and the fall festival comes to town.

Gainesville’s premier fall event, the Mule Camp Market Festival, returns this weekend with an expected 75,000 people visiting the downtown area.

Mule Camp features live music, arts and crafts, food and various other activities for the enjoyment of the whole family. Kids will enjoy a petting zoo and other fun activities.

“We’re going to have more vendors than we had last year,” said Bill Rhoads, event coordinator for the Jaycees. “We have a pretty good variety. We’ve got everyone from blacksmiths, to leather workers, to painters and pottery makers. We also have all sorts of activities for the kids, including a little train ride and bounce houses.”

And as usual, folks can get their fill of treats like barbecue and boiled peanuts.

There will also be a concert from 6:30-10:30 p.m. Oct. 8 featuring the John King Band and Benjamin Pruet and The Line. Tickets for the concert are $5 per person and will be on sale during Mule Camp.

“All of this is to help us raise money for our charities,” Rhoads said.

Organized by the Gainesville Jaycees since 1993, the festival has become a regional fall festival, drawing large crowds to the city on the second weekend in October every year.

Mule Camp Market began several years back as a small farmers market. Eventually, it came to be known as the Corn Tassel Festival, welcoming local craft vendors, according to the Gainesville Jaycee’s website.

Around 1993, the Jaycee’s began organizing the event added the name Mule Creek Market, in honor of Gainesville’s previous name, Mule Creek Camp.

According to the Jaycees’ website, craft vendors from all parts of the U.S. and top quality country and bluegrass entertainment have turned the market into the single largest annual event hosted in Hall County each year.

Activities begin at 10 a.m. Oct. 7 and continue through Oct. 9.