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2020 claims another casualty. Gainesville's Mule Camp Market canceled
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Visitors to the annual Mule Camp Market visit the various booths and displays in downtown Gainesville on Friday, Oct. 11, 2019. - photo by Scott Rogers

Gainesville’s beloved Mule Camp Market is one of many festivals not coming to Northeast Georgia this year. Matt Smith, Gainesville Jaycees executive board member, said the city of Gainesville denied the permit request for the event. 

“This will be the first time since 1993 that we haven’t had a Mule Camp Market in Gainesville,” Smith said. “I think we did a pretty good job of putting enhanced safety and sanitary measures in place, but the city wasn’t comfortable permitting it.” 

Organized by the Gainesville Jaycees, Smith said the event uses its sponsorships and vendor fees to support the community service group’s Empty Stocking Fund, which provides Christmas gifts each year to around 250 children in need throughout Hall County. 

Smith said the charity helps fulfill kids’ holiday wish-lists, which include items like jackets, shoes and socks.  

“We literally have kids that say they’d love to have a coat or hairbrush,” he said. “We’re trying to figure out something else to recoup those funds because for us, it’s not about making money but where it’s going. We're going to buy Christmas for kids one way or another. 

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