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Mule camp brings crafts, fun to square
Mule Camp Market will bring craft vendors, food and music to the Gainesville square Friday through Sunday. For the first time this year, Jaemor Farms will be selling produce and beer and wine will be available after 7 p.m.

2009 Mule Camp Market

Where: Downtown Gainesville square
When: 10 a.m. to 7 p.m. Friday-Saturday; noon-5 p.m. Sunday
How much: Free

Mule Camp Market, originally the Corn Tassel Festival, has been bringing Appalachian arts and crafts to Gainesville since 1993.

The Gainesville Jaycees reserve the second weekend in October to prepare for the nearly 75,000 who come during the three-day weekend festival, which helps support the Jaycees' charities.

This year there will be more than 150 vendors along with live music, children's activities and a petting zoo.

"One new feature this year will be Jaemor Farms," said Ben Hawkins, chairman of Mule Camp Market and Gainesville Jaycees board member. "They will have almost a whole block on Bradford with produce."

There will be plenty of children's activities, including inflatable jumping toys, a rock climbing wall and a short race car track. For the adults, a bungee jump will be on the square for the first time, along with plenty of food vendors selling barbecue, gyros and kabobs.

Another new feature of Mule Camp is the nightly entertainment and alcohol sold on the square.

"I wanted to do what we could to help them (the square business owners) out," Hawkins said. "The John Jarrard Foundation is sponsoring the stage and people will be able to walk around the square with drinks."

Scott Dixon, owner of Scott's on the Square, said he is excited about the new events and hopes it will add to the festival's success.

"There was a couple of guys that wanted to see Mule Camp evolve, and here's a great way for it to evolve," Dixon said.

There will be music all day, Dixon said, with an evening portion starting at 7 p.m. Friday and Saturday.

The Nate Currin Band performs 7-9 p.m. Friday, followed by Captain Luther and The Prozac Cowboys 9-11 p.m. On Saturday, April Cummings plays 6-7 p.m., followed by Justin Brewer 7-9 p.m. and King Daddy Polecats 9-11 p.m.

Local musician Allen Nivens will take the stage with Bill Hardman at 5:30 p.m. Saturday.

There will be entry points around the square and there will be a $5 cover charge for music after 7 p.m. Also after 7 p.m., beer and wine will be available - which is a first for the event - and Scott's also will sell dishes like jambalaya, gumbo, burgers, hot dogs and chicken.

"The whole square will be blocked," Dixon said. "So there basically will be entrance points to the square for the event at Bradford and Washington streets, at Main and Washington streets, Spring and Main streets and (Spring) and Bradford streets.

"We'll hopefully have a lot of the (shops) stay open."