Mule Show highlights b-day party

Staff photo by Carol Keefer

Don't miss the Mule Show Competition at Fort Verde this weekend during Camp Verde's General Crook-Pioneer Days. Celegbrate Gen. Crook's birthday at noon on Saturday.

Saturday at noon, Brig. Gen. George Crook (portrayed by park ranger Dennis Lockhart) will talk about his childhood in Ohio and training at West Point. He will also discuss Civil War experiences promising to explain 1800's policies about Native Americans and day-to-day issues within the Verde Valley. It's a lot of candles on a cake, but come wish him a Happy Birthday while enjoying free cake and punch.

Because the general preferred mules (he named his Apache) for moving supplies and felt that the pack animals were quicker than using wagons and sturdier than horses, according to fort officials, a Mule Show competition only makes sense. Enjoy a mule show both days on the Fort's parade grounds.

Here's a lineup of the Mule Show and birthday party:

SATURDAY

7-9:45 a.m.: Youth Trail and Adult Trail

10 a.m.: Grand Entry, presentation of colors, mule and donkey western pleasure events, mule packing, knot and rope tying exhibition, mule and donkey coon jumping.

Noon: lunch break; General Crook's birthday party

1 p.m.: mule and donkey obstacles, hurdles

SUNDAY:

8:30-9:30 a.m.: packing clinic and pack demonstrations

10 a.m.: Grand Entry - presentation of colors, mule and donkey costume class, flag race, barrel race, beach ball polo race, happy hour mules and fools

High point award presentation follows final class.

For more information about Arizona's State Parks events, see the web page at www.azstateparks.com.

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