Mule Days | Bishop Visitor Information Center
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Bishop Visitor's Center

A world-class equestrian event promoting the legacy, heritage and talents of the mule.

Intro

For five days, every Memorial Day weekend, more than 30,000 fans from around the country (and the world) converge on Bishop for this colorful and fun festival. It is a tradition that began in 1969 as a send-off event for local packers and outfitters to get the summer season going.

Now over 700 mules with their trainers, riders and packers attend 14 mule shows that include equestrian disciplines such as: Western, English, youth, barrel racing, gymkhana, packing, shoeing, chariot racing, team roping and driving. The result is a tremendous display of human and animal skills.

Among the many highlights of the weekend is a parade along Main Street that is believed to be the country’s longest non-motorized parade. All parade floats and entries must be animal and/or human powered and, naturally, mules are the predominant mode of transport.

The Mule Days motto says, “Anything a good horse can do, a good mule can do better.”

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What Makes It Great

It’s a Wild West test of skills presented and participated in by real working cowboys (girls are cowboys too) in a truly authentic western town. The event features excellent entertainment in the form of a country music concert and lively country dancing. There is a wonderful arts and crafts fair that showcases local talent and artisans from near and far. It’s a festival that brings this close-knit community together in celebration of the traditions and values that make Bishop the truly unique and special place that it is.

Who Is Going to Love It

Families! This event is for families and folks who want a change of pace, which might include fast and furious of a very different sort. Racing, roping, jumping & driving will have you applauding and cheering for more. Then there’s the chance for a quiet stroll among the many arts and crafts stalls. Stop to chat with the artists who live and work here.

If you thought the traditional ‘West’ was no longer, this picturesque town and this fun-filled event will take you back to a bygone era. But bring your smart phones, tablets and cameras and talk, text, & Instagram your old-fashioned vacation. There’s free WiFi all along Main Street.

The Season: Memorial Weekend

Weather in Bishop, a high desert mountain town is very unpredictable in late spring / early summer when Memorial Day comes around. We’ve experienced Mule Days celebrations in gloriously hot, sunny days and cool nights when shorts and T-shirts are the preferred dress code. But we’ve also had chilly winter-like weather when we bundle up in our big jackets and bring hot coffee and sweet treats to the sidewalks of Main street while watching the hardy souls, many in traditional dress, walk and trot their mounts in the parade.

Most exciting of all is that the weather can change rapidly from one day to the next. So be prepared for the full gamut of seasons in the space of 5 days and your stay will be enchanting and exhilarating.

RESERVE RV SPACES BOOK LODGING EARLY

Directions. Parking. Regulations.

The main Mule Days events and expo are held at the Tri-County Fairgrounds in Bishop. The entrance is on Sierra Street and we must warn you that there is no physical address for the fairgrounds. So GPS or Google mapping won’t give you anything good to follow. Go to the directions page on the Mule Days website and heed their instructions. Parking during the event is well marked and volunteers will help usher you to a suitable spot. The parallel streets to east and west of Main Street have numerous parking lots behind the main street stores.

The arts and crafts fair is held at the nearby Bishop City Park at 688 N. Main St. That’s an easy one to find and you’ll also find the Bishop Visitor Center there and the knowledgeable folks behind the counters can give you more info, maps and directions to all of the great things to see and do in Bishop.

Please obey all speed limit signs as you enter town. On a busy Mule Days weekend you’ll find the roads occupied by more than just wheels. Pedestrians will utilize crosswalks and you may come across a mule-drawn wagon or mounted cowboy making a trip through a local fast-food drive through window. Definitely a photo op if there ever was one!

Visit muledays.org to purchase tickets, check out show schedules and read more about this annual event.  You can also reach the Mule Days office by telephone at 760-872-4263.

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2 days ago

We've been getting some inquiries about where you might find a hot meal on Christmas Day - and we've queried the local restaurants. As best we know, these are the establishments that will be serving on Christmas - if you know of any others, please let us know! ... See MoreSee Less

Weve been getting some inquiries about where you might find a hot meal on Christmas Day - and weve queried the local restaurants. As best we know, these are the establishments that will be serving on Christmas - if you know of any others, please let us know!

 

Comment on Facebook

(to be sung) - "Have yourself - a Denny's little Christmas ...... KFC's divine ....... From now on your hunger will be quenched in time ......... Have yourself - a Denny's little Christmas ...... Have a Subway day ....... Or McDonalds there you can go eat and play ....... Here we are - Perry's Italian Cafe ....... Share a pizza day - with your ........ Faithful friends - split the bill with us ....... Share the meal with us - once more ............ El Ranchito and El Pollo Loco ...... they both start with "El" ......... Shinning Star from Carl's will be lit as well ....... So have yourself - A Very Merry Christmas Meal ....."

Thai & Chinese restaurants are always open on American Holidays....life savers when you work in catering!

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7 days ago

Love these historic photos from Tales Along El Camino Sierra.Two great photos from the tallest peak in the lower 48. 1-Visitors enjoying trip to the Alabama Hills with majestic Mt. Whitney looming behind them. Photo 2-A group on horseback back when horses were allowed to go all the way to the summit. This Frasher photo postcard is from the 1930s. ... See MoreSee Less

Love these historic photos from Tales Along El Camino Sierra.

 

Comment on Facebook

We miss the inyo county! So much to see and experience!

Great book.

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7 days ago

We really like this concept - why limit yourself to just summer vacations? Bishop is a great destination year-round! Thanks for the shout-out, Visit USA Parks .Let's dismiss the idea of a "summer vacation", shall we? How about a "winter vacation"?! Bishop, California has so much to offer the off-season traveler: from great outdoor recreation, mild weather, unique shops and restaurants, and interesting attractions. Visit Bishop in the off-season and enjoy an inexpensive vacation, away from the crowds and packed with great experiences! #visitbishop #ThisIsMyRoute #VisitUSAParks ... See MoreSee Less

We really like this concept - why limit yourself to just summer vacations? Bishop is a great destination year-round! Thanks for the shout-out, Visit USA Parks .

 

Comment on Facebook

Having lived there for 10 years, totally agree! So much to do and explore!

I'm thinking of getting away in Bishop starting Christmas Day (Creekside Inn, of course!) but wondering what restaurants would be open Christmas Day in Bishop.

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