Skip to content

35th Annual Mule Festival Is Here!

The Clark Co. Mule Festival has finally achieved its 35th anniversary.  It will be held on September 16, 17, and 18, 2021.   This event is held at the Clark Co. Fairgrounds outside of Kahoka, Missouri, located in the northeast corner of the state.  On this week every year, this community event will entertain us with mule shows, crafts, flea markets, coloring contest by our area children, trail ride, and a rodeo.  There will also be live entertainment after the rodeo by “Stumptown” band.  This event, brought to you by the non-for-profit Mule Festival committee is held to bring enjoyment to people of all ages, bring commerce to our community, and give our state animal lovers a chance to show off their mules.  Food and camping are available.  The main gate is a cost of $5.00 per person for a commemorative button or band (10 years and under are free) for a few days of entertainment.  All mules and horses must have Coggins and State Health papers (if they come from out of state) every time the equine enters the gate whether trailered or ridden!  Also, all dogs must be on a leash in the fairgrounds. So, come join this unique opportunity for a fun time!  Please observe proper health restrictions if you can for the safety of everyone.

This year again, the Festival Committee is selling the boxed seats in the grandstand for use during the week.  Lawn chairs needed. To purchase one of these box seats, contact Lori Hamner.

This year’s Mule Festival will open on Thursday, September 16th with some vendors opening during the day as well as the festival office.

Mule warm up games will be held at 1 P.M. in front of the grand stand.   Mule show events will begin Friday at 10 A.M., mule jumps at 3P.M., and mule games including sorting, roping, and goats at 7P.M.  A king and queen contest will also be held.   No mule polo.  A Fish Fry will be held on Friday night at supper time, 4p.m. to 7:00 p.m., at the 4-H Pavilion near the entrance to the fairgrounds which is right inside the gate.  Help support them.   The Kahoka Boy Scouts are giving a presentation of the U.S. Flag, in front of the grandstand.  Anyone wishing to participate in the night events and be on a team should sign up under the announcer stand before the event. The evenings events will include steer daubing, break away roping, goat sticker dash, women’s and girl’s goat tying, steer doctoring, 3 head sort n pen, team sorting and roping.  For more information contact Mike or Chelsea Wright.  Entries paid as cash only and 100% pay back   All mules MUST have a current Coggins test and current health papers, if out of state.

Saturday will begin with a trail ride, meeting at the north end of the infield and leaving at 7:00 a.m.  These rides are open to horses and mules, but all must have current Coggins test paper every time to enter the fairgrounds and 30- day health papers if out of state.  Expect anywhere up to 100 mules and horses to be there.  It is a two to three hour ride south of fairgrounds.  Ralph and Mary Ann Plenge are in charge and may be contacted for more information.

The Mule Show on Saturday will begin about 10:00 a.m.  At this time the Clark County High School Marching Band of Kahoka, will open the festivities by performing several songs.  The flag presentation will follow along with the Grand Entry of mules and wagons.  The band will play the national anthem.    Events in the shows are held at random.  Some of the events are Back-to-Back, Dumb Waiter, Dotty Pardon race, tack on a trailer, panty hose race, musical tires, monkey in the tree, coon hunter race, pick up race, mule jumps, and maybe a surprise event.  On Saturday, there will be a precision mule pull at noon and the mule jumps at 3 P.M.   Linda Chockley will be back to entertain the crowds as our clown, Myrtle Mae.  She has done this for many years, so give her a kiss.  There is no entry fee for participants.  Participants must register under the announcer stand for a number.  Hand made trophies and ribbons are awarded.  For more information, contact Mike Schantz or Mary Rhodes.

A free contestant prize drawing will be held on Saturday between 11 P.M. to 2 P.M. under the announcer stand to thank the many riders who come every year to provide us with laughter and memories.  Prizes are donated by local and national businesses that support the festival. For more information on the drawing or you would like to donate, contact Mary Rhodes.

The rodeo is our most popular event.  It is held on Saturday evening at 7:00 p.m. Box seat in the amphitheater will be for sale.  Other seating is on a first come first serve accommodations.  There will be the presentation of U.S. and State Flags carried by riders on mules.  This will be followed a balloon release for the MIA and POW by the VFW Ladies Auxiliary to commemorate Nation MIA an POW week.  Some rodeo events will be bulls- 16 and over, steer buck out, bareback mule riding, Steer Dogging, Women’s barrel racing, barrel racing for girls age 15 and under, break away roping, wild cow catch, and team penning.  Registration books will open at 2:00 p.m. under the announce stand until 4:00 p.m.  A number of clowns will be available for entertainment and the safety of the riders.  Contestants will be limited to the availability of the livestock.  Contestants 17 and under must have parental consent.  Those 18 and over must have a picture ID.  100% payback will be awarded to the winners.  Entries are open to the public at a fee.  For more information contact Mike Schantz.

This year there will be a band called “Stumptown” playing after the rodeo over in the 4-H building.  There will be no cover charge.

Church services will be held on Sunday morning at 8 P.M. by the Fellowship of Christian Cowboys.  Service is held in the grandstand.

Another main attraction of the Mule Festival is the crafts.  These open on Thursday (some), Friday at 10 a.m., and Saturday at 8:00 a.m. till evening in the big craft barn.  About 25 businesses will be there to display and sell a variety of items.  Some of the booths sell plastic and canvas, quilts, rugs, wood crafts, metal art, baskets, ceramics, wildlife pictures, mule drawings, home made jewelry, homemade soap, and other various hand made articles.  There are lots of neat things to buy!  For more information call Sandi Hopp and Tina Sedore who are in charge of vendors.

Outside vendors at the Mule Festival carry a variety of items such as new and used tack, t-shirts, sweatshirts, rodeo hats, flea market items, radio/stereos, decals, belts, health products, Watkin products, knives, yard ornaments, antiques, jewelry, horse shoe gifts, personalized signs, hot tub vendor, and custom leather making.  Also, not-for-profit organizations will have booths to raise money for their good works.  About 40 vendors will be available.

Many different kinds of food will be served at about 15 or so different food booths.  A full breakfast will be served on Thursday, Friday, and Saturday at 7:00 a.m.  at the Rescue Squad shelter.  Other kinds of food are honey, candies, tenderloins, fries, shaved ice, corn dogs, funnel cake, kettle corn, tocos, walking tocos, desserts, plate lunch meals, char-broiled rib-eye sandwiches, chicken breast sandwiches, home made ice cream, hamburgers, mini donuts, pork rinds, strawberry short cake, and many other good things.  A variety of pop, coffee, tea, and other drinks will be offered to go along with your meal.

There will be a Camper Prize Drawing.  The winner will be chosen from a randomly chosen camper registration.  Drawing will be held at the main office building on Friday afternoon, September 17, 2021.  Need not be present to win.   

There will also a Golden Mule Shoe retrieval on the fairgrounds the week of the festival for a prize.  Turn in at front gate.

The Mule Festival will have a quilt raffle of a hand made queen size quilt called a “Mule t-shirt commemorative” designed by a local quilter.    This can be viewed in the office where the tickets will be sold.  You need not be present to win the quilt or money.

This year will have again, a raffle of a $1,000.00.  These tickets will be sold during the week of Festival.    If you need more information contact Paula Schantz .  Winners of the quilt and $1,000.00 drawing will be announced on Saturday during the rodeo. Need not be present to win.

A Mule coloring contest for the area Clark Co. elementary children of Black Hawk and Running Fox Schools will be held prior to the festival.  This year’s design will be colored by the kids and be displayed in the office the week of the festival.  They will be judged that week.  Ribbons will be awarded.

On Wednesday also, several of the wagons, mules, and teams will be visiting the Clark Co. Nursing Home There will be a parade for all to watch at about 1 p.m.

Another festival event is the Camper Cook-off held on Thursday, September 16, 2021.  All registered campers are invited to participate in the chili or stew categories. All entries must be prepared in a Dutch oven on a grill or over a camp fire.  Registration is at the main office building by noon.  All entries must be turned in to the main office by 6 P.M. sharp.  Judging will take place at 6:30 P.M.   For more information, contact a festival officer.  A free 2022 week of Mule Festival camping will be awarded for each category.

The festival has many kinds of souvenirs to be sold at the main office.  A new design is offered every year on the hats, T-shirts, sweatshirts, and the souvenir commemorative buttons.

Also, in the main office will be a historical booth containing memorabilia of past Mule Festivals.  Articles and pictures, as well as, past T-shirts, hats, buttons, flyers, and trophies will be there to see.  If you have any Mule Festival memorabilia you would like to display contact Debbie Logsdon.

Camping is available on the grounds and a fee will be collected at the front gate as you come in before parking for electrical or primitive.  Camping fees will start the first day you park on your spot and is a first come, first serve bases.  Campers will be staged on Friday, September 10 at 2 p.m. at the gate for lining up in the parking lot. ABSOLUTLY NO EARY BIRDS!  Everyone may start setting up on the Sunday before, September 12, 2021 at noon.  No roping off.  You may also need to bring an extra electrical cord.  No water or sewer hook-ups.  Please bring a fire ring.  Electricity will be on, as you enter.  If you need more information, contact Mary Rhodes.  There will be a sewer clean out truck during the week for a fee, contact the gate or office.  The infield race track area is reserved for livestock and their owners.   

Day time,  night time parking, and transport will be provided.  Parking will be down the drag strip and the field west of fairgrounds.   Handicap port-a-potties will be available as well as other potties scattered over the grounds.  Handicap parking is available if asked for.  No mules or horses are allowed on vendor alley and not allowed outside the grounds after dark.  Horses and mules must have Coggins papers every time they enter the gate.   There is a quiet time after midnight.  There will be security on Friday and Saturday and traffic control after the rodeo.    No ATV’s will be allowed except for official Mule Festival vehicles and authorized handicap carts which must have official permission and a sticker upon arrival.

As was stated there will be no events on Sunday except Cowboy Church at 8 A.M.

This year looks to be the best one ever with calls from all over the mid-west.  For more information check out our web site at   Hope to see you there to make some new friends, meet old friends, new memories, and have a good time!  Happy trails.