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Mule Camp brings crowd, road closures
75K expected to attend annual festival on Gainesville square
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Jessica Marmolejos prepares the Mainely Stichers booth Thursday evening in downtown Gainesville for today’s opening of the Mule Camp Market Festival.

Mule Camp Market Festival

What: Music, arts and crafts, mule rides, food, live entertainment
When: 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. today-Saturday, noon-5 p.m. Sunday
Where: Downtown Gainesville square
More info: www.gainesvillejaycees.org

More than 75,000 people are expected to visit downtown Gainesville this weekend during the 2012 Mule Camp Market.

With such a large crowd attending the festival, which runs today through Sunday, only pedestrian traffic will be allowed on the square.

Gainesville Police spokesman Cpl. Kevin Holbrook said there will be numerous road closures for the event.

“The area around the square and all that (were) shut down as they (began) setting up Thursday evening,” Holbrook said, adding that the area will remain closed until Sunday night.

The streets that will be closed through 10 p.m. Sunday include:

  • Washington at Green Street
  • Washington at Maple Street
  • Spring Street at Green Street
  • Spring Street at Maple Street
  • Maple Street at Jesse Jewell Parkway
  • Maple Street at Broad Street
  • Main Street at Broad Street
  • Main Street alley behind north block of square
  • Bradford Street at alley behind north block of square

“One of the main things we like to get out is that individuals attending the event should utilize the downtown parking deck or Hall County parking deck at the courthouse,” Holbrook said. “It helps with traffic control and assists with improperly vehicles.”

Rustin Smith, co-chairman of the event, said this year’s festival will be bigger than before.

“We’re having more food vendors this year than we’ve ever had and more variety,” he said. “This year we’re also having more day time entertainment including a full Saturday. We normally just have a few acts.”

Smith said a large crowd is expected for the concert at 6:30 p.m. Saturday.

“We’ve had a concert before, but this year we’re having what we expect to be our biggest attendance for a concert,” Smith said. “The quality of the bands will draw more people. We hope we have a big crowd there.”

The free concert features Twisted Whiskey, River Street and Mid-life Crisis.

“It all goes to benefit our Empty Stocking Fund where we buy Christmas presents for children in Hall County,” Smith said, adding the event also will include a carnival and children’s rides.

Holbrook said officers will be on hand during the festival, but no challenges are expected.

“This event is one that the city of Gainesville has been doing for many, many years,” he said. “We routinely do events throughout the year, so this doesn’t typically pose any challenges to us.”

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