The town of Benson celebrates Benson Mule Days® the 4th Saturday of September each year. Mule Days is considered one of the largest festivals in North Carolina and will kickoff with a Barrel Exhibition and Open Barrel Race on Thursday night.
This festival, which draws approximately 50,000 people to this community of 3,600 people, is full of family fun and activities for everyone young and old. The weekend is packed with rodeos, a mule pulling contest, arts and crafts, vendors, street dances, carnival rides, camping, parades, bluegrass shows and more.
The parade alone attracts about 20,000 people and takes place Saturday morning at 10am. The parade will feature bands, floats, antique tractors and hundreds of horses, mules, and buggies. Visitors come from as far away as Alaska, Germany and California.
The charming downtown landscape of Benson lends itself to a leisurely day trip or stroll along Main Street. Visitors can shop along the main street for unique gifts, enjoy a true Southern diner, and visit the new Benson Museum of Local History.
This itinerary includes suggest you visit two picturesque wineries to sit and enjoy muscadine wine on the porch overlooking the vineyards. After these visits, you're halfway through the Muscadine Heritage Wine Trail!
You will feel right at home at Smith's Nursery, a family owned and operated nursery and produce farm. The farm offers u-pick berries, pumpkins and community sponsored events throughout the year.
The interactive itinerary is easy to print and download to help your trip planning to Benson, where it feels like home.
The oldest festival in Johnston County and one of the oldest in the state began in 1921 as a treat for the town. Area church choirs met in an old tobacco warehouse to have a “sing.” About 200 people heard two choirs that day, but over the years thousands would come every year for the event.
Today, large audiences still gather the fourth weekend in June at the Benson Singing Grove on Main Street where gospel groups come to compete for trophies. Plan your trip to Benson to enjoy three full days of gospel music.
Friday night gospel singing concert with Saturday & Sunday competition days for amateur duets, trios, quartets, choirs, and family groups. Event times: Friday, 7pm, Saturday, 10am-10pm, and Sunday 10am-6pm (Sundays open with church services).