A parade of 50 ridden mules walking down the streets in Warrensburg, west-central Missouri, has set a world record. For this feat, the University of Central Missouri has been officially included in the Guinness Book of World Records.
Tiffany Cochran, senior vice-president of events and alumni engagement, said that the best part of this whole endeavor is making history with the community.
“I think people thought we were crazy for a second,” she says. “It took us a year and a half to get it planned. And by golly, we set that world record and I think the entire community of Warrensburg and the University of Central Missouri could not be more pleased that it happened and we have some pretty awesome bragging rights now.”
Parade attendees included approximately 1,500 people.
What is the best way to set a new world record for the largest parade ridden mules? Many nights of sleeplessness.
The effort required at least 20 mules.
Every mule had to be inspected before it could be used. It required a blood test as well as paperwork. They had to be within 13 feet of the next mule – in a straight line. A veterinarian was required to inspect each mule and ensure that their saddles were properly fitted. Additional evidence was required in the form of photographic and video footage.
A parade of mules seems fitting – and so does having the parade during the university’s homecoming back in October.
Jackie Jackson, associate vice president for the UCM Alumni Foundation, says the school’s mascot has been a mule since 1922.
“We feel like this is the perfect animal to participate in this parade because it was a sight to see,” says Jackson. “They perked up they got in line and they seemed to know that this was their moment. It brought tears to people’s eyes.”
Tammy and Molly serve as the school’s live mascots.
“Now they are our local celebrities. It’s all about getting a picture with Tammy and Molly,” says Jackson.
The phrase “as stubborn as a mule” is used for a reason. Jackson and Cochran both claim mules are smart and stubborn.
Cochran believes that the community will continue to talk about the marching of the mules for many years.
“As the mules started to walk down Holden Street, people held their breath. They didn’t know what to do. They didn’t know if they should clap, if they should be quiet, if they should count. I mean, it was just a sight that it was like, ‘Oh my gosh, we are doing this. This is what the university is doing. The city of Warrensburg is making this happen and we’re making history,’” says Cochran.
The mules were placed at the end of the parade – to prevent other participants from stepping in mule dumplings. Just in case you were wondering, the city’s street cleaner quickly took care of all that mule business left behind.
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