SHELBYVILLE, Tenn. - The 18th annual Great Celebration Mule and Donkey Show is just around the corner, and everyone in this community and the mule and donkey industry are ready for a great time with good friends, good food, and their favorite animals.

The 2009 event will take place July 9th - 11th on the Historic Celebration Grounds in Shelbyville, Tennessee.  Every year the show brings competitors from all across the country to Shelbyville to show their mules and donkeys.
This year is no exception with exhibitors from twenty different states, as far away as California, pre-registered for competition.

While the show consistently boasts quality entries, the competitive nature of the event is a friendly one.  "Most folks who own mules and donkeys do not come into the show with an ego. They come for the friendly competition,a relaxed atmosphere, and if they win that's super and if they don't that's okay too, said Ben Tennison of Western Mule Magazine.

Began to fill a void in an event schedule, The Great Celebration Mule and Donkey Show has grown to become the second largest event of its kind in the entire country.  This year's event has been given even more prominence as it will play host to several national and world championships - The National Miniature Donkey Association National Championship, The North American Saddle Mule Association National Championship, The American Council of
Spotted Asses National Championship and The American Gaited Mule Association World Championship.  Celebration CEO Dr. Doyle Meadows states "To be asked to host a multitude of the industry's championship shows speaks volumes about the reputation our show, and our community as a whole, has within the industry.  We are honored to play host to these events."

The show is not only an anticipated event among the competitors, it is also a great opportunity for spectators and newcomers to learn about donkeys and mules, the infertile hybrid of a male donkey and a female horse.

Friendly competition is just one attraction of the show.  The Great Celebration Mule and Donkey is also known as a time for fun, family-oriented activities.  Costume classes and obstacle races will be hold for both children and adults.  An exhibitors' cookout, a watermelon feast, a barbecue dinner, and a mule sale are all additional features of the three-day event.

"The Great Celebration Mule and Donkey Show not only showcases top-quality animals and exhibitors, but it also fosters the atmosphere of family-oriented fun - all important in our industry!" stated Kathy Herrin, announcer for the show.

Tickets for the event are, per day:  $6.00 for adults; $3.00 for children ages 7 - 12; and children six and under are free.  Three-day passes are available for $15.00.  For further information contact The Celebration office at (931)685-5915 or visit their web-site at