Tag Archives: bishop mule days

Mule Days Release Statement About COVID-19 Crisis

In 1970, Bishop Mule Days Celebration rose from humble beginnings to bring a world-class mule show to the Eastern Sierra. We have become the premier mule show in North America. Our annual event brings visitors from all walks of life: RV enthusiasts, campers, equine enthusiasts, contestants, celebrities, fans and friends. Mule Days has endured through recessions, high fuel prices, devastating equine diseases and the loss of many dedicated, dear friends and volunteers. Our all-volunteer Board has continued to promote the legacy of our founders: “Anything a horse can do, a mule can do better.” And, we have continued to promote and enhance the local community and tourism-dependent economy. Mule Days has become a vital part of our local economy by bringing packed hotels and campgrounds during a time that had previously been slow, foot-traffic and visitors raising revenues in our local businesses and government. Mule Days is estimated to bring multi-millions of dollars in direct spending to the Bishop area. For a tourist-driven economy, this equates to $7 million in economic value for every $1 million spent. Our humble show is honored and proud to be such a vital part of our local economy.While Mule Days has succeeded, Tri-County Fairgrounds has been struggling. The State has cut much of the funding for county fairs leaving them struggling to remain open. Unfortunately, this has resulted in many fairs closing. Mule Days has long been a partner of Tri-County Fairgrounds providing much needed capital improvements, sponsorships and assisting with repairs. Mule Days is the single largest financial contributor to the Fairgrounds. Mule Days provides labor and facilities for hosting the State High School Rodeo Finals and the Tri-County Fair. Despite our partnership and the fair hosting events generating much needed income and city and county TOT funds, the fairgrounds is struggling. The reality is, Mule Days cannot exist without Tri-County Fairgrounds and Tri-County Fairgrounds cannot exist without Mule Days. The economic and social benefit of Mule Days and Tri-County Fairgrounds cannot be replaced and should not be ignored. Mule Days is primarily a volunteer-run event; but, we do have a few employees who rely on the success of our event for their income and benefits. Mule Days is a private, not-for-profit entity and may not be eligible for the stimulus programs related to this pandemic. While we recognize the economic and social benefits of our event, we are cognizant of the impact such an event can have on the health and welfare of the citizens of our small community. Mule Days has been contacted by many contestants, participants and fans. We have heard your concerns and agree the well-being of our community is paramount. To that end, Mule Days is giving the local, state and federal government time to address this pandemic. We will continue to do our part to produce a quality event while it is our hope, solutions will be forthcoming and we can ultimately move forward.In the meantime, Mule Days continues to monitor the situation. We realize the decision to continue with our 51st event may be taken out of our hands. If such a decision is made, we will do our mule-minded best to save Mule Days and the fairgrounds for the future. We want to assure our competitors, fans, campers, RVers, ticket holders and volunteers we have a policy in place to ensure refunds will be made fairly and appropriately. We have also developed a procedure whereby reservations and payments are fully credited to our event in 2021 – our “pay-it-forward” option.

Mule Days wishes to thank our community, fans, competitors, volunteers and attendees for your patience and understanding while we work through this unprecedented time of uncertainty. Your dedication to our beautiful American mule is our strength.

-Mule Days Board of Directors

Family Emergency forces Michael Martin Murphey to cancel Mule Days Show

Martin Murphey out, Dave Stamey and others step in

May 26, 2016

Mule Days scrambles to fill void.
Comedian Frankie “Punkintown” Smith will open.
Fiddlin’ Pete Watercott, Neil Gelvin and Pete Charles will perform.
Dave Stamey will close tonight’s show.

Statement from Mule Days:

Michael Martin Murphey, country music headliner for Bishop Mule Days Celebration, has had to cancel his appearance tonight due to an unexpected and possibly devastating family emergency.

From  Michael:

“I have cancelled my show in Bishop, CA for Mule Days on May 26, 2016 because of a family emergency. My precious mother is critically ill and I am rushing to be by her side. I have been looking forward to performing at Mule Days again with great anticipation; I wish I could be there, but I will return to Bishop as soon as possible.

Just so you know, my mother sewed me Western shirts and kept me in jeans, boots and cowboy hats from the time I was a child. My Mom and Dad sent me to family ranches every summer so I could learn cowboy skills, even though we lived in the big city of Dallas, Texas. They encouraged me to work at a Christian youth camp called Sky Ranch in Lewisville, Texas when I was a teen, and there I first had a job singing cowboy songs around a campfire and teaching kids to ride a horse and outdoor skills.  They believed that the Western Way of Life is a great way to bring up kids. I owe my career as a singing cowboy from Texas to my mother and father, who loved the Lone Star State and what it stands for. They loved the cattle ranching culture.  Dad is gone now but Mom still encourages me to “keep it Western.” What America needs now, more than ever, is people like my Mom and Dad- city people who support country people in their stewardship of the world’s grasslands through responsible ranching. I know the show in Bishop is sold out; my deepest thanks to all my supporters. You can count on me to return to Bishop as soon as possible.  As my Dad, who was my business manager used to say, “We’ll make it work, son!” I know my Mom agrees.”

Our hearts and prayers go out to Mr. Murphey and his family in his hour of need.

However, the show must go on!

We have put together an equally entertaining and incredible concert tonight.  Warming up tonight’s concert audience with laughter is stand-up comedian Frankie “Punkintown” Smith, Christian Country Music Association Comedian of the Year.  You may know Frankie as Bishop Mule Days Arena Clown with his trick pony “Turbo” and his mule “Minnie Pearl”.  A highly sought after entertainer Bishop Mule Days is excited to present!

Bishop Local legend Fiddlin’ Pete Watercott, 2014 Best Friend of the Packers, will be performing with fellow local musicians Neil Gelvin and Pete Charles.  They will be playing foot-stomping fiddle-tunes along with heart moving ballads, set to American Poet Curly Fletcher, such as “Strawberry Roan”.  Fiddlin’ Pete is a world-class fiddler who has played along with Michael Martin Murphey and Ian Tyson.  This is sure to be a toe tapping, two-stepping good time!

Dave Stamey, 2015 Western Music Association Entertainer of the Year, will be delighting tonight’s crowd with soulful vocals and guitar strumming to all his famous melodies, as well as more favorites from his newly released album “Western Stories”. Dave Stamey, a past Best Friend of Mule Days recipient, is a phenomenal performer who will entertain tonight’s audience with his upbeat performance of music that transcends all generations of music lovers!

Any questions please visit the front gate ticket booth, thank you!


Bishop Mule Days, Michael Martin Murphey, Dave Stamey, Pete Watercott

Mule Days Food Drive

Mule Days and Salvation Army teaming up to help those in need

March 22, 2016

The Bishop Mule Days Celebration is again teaming up with the Salvation Army in a food drive for local families in need.

The food drive will take place on Saturday, April 2, from 9am to 4pm in front of the Vons Super Market in Bishop. Look for the white Maverick horse trailer. Our goal this year is to fill the trailer with donated canned and dry foods!

For every $50 dollar donation, Mule Days will give a free Raffle Ticket to win the $6,500 two horse trailer and a general admission ticket to the Sunday, May 29th evening show when the winning ticket is draw.

Please come by and visit with the Mule Days crew and help the Salvation Army provide local needy families with meals.

cover photo by Gary Young

salvation army bishop, bishop mule days

School Days at Mule Days

Mule Days Celebration hosts School Days

The 2015 Bishop Mule Days Celebration is off and running.  Today the School Days show was held at the Main Arena.  Linda Laird of the Double L ranch showcased several youth riders and their talented mules.

Tonight the Brenn Hill Concert is set for 7pm in the Charles Brown Auditorium.  Friday the “I want to be a packer” youth activities start.  This years program includes gold panning Friday, Saturday and Sunday from noon to 1pm.  The kids are also welcome to free fishing at the Rick Dean fish ponds Saturday from 5 to 6:30pm and Sunday from noon to 1pm.

Percheron Thunder meet their fans
Percheron Thunder meet their fans

The amazing Percheron Thunder are back at Mule Days.  The black beauties will be appearing at the five main Mule Days shows and at the Saturday Parade.

In the shadow of the mighty Percherons are the KIBS/KBOV mascots, Waylon and Willie.  Stop by and see Lauren and Steve’s best employees!

the "hardest working burros" in the business. Waylon and Willie
the “hardest working burros” in the business. Waylon and Willie

Photos from the School Days Show

Miya Roccoforte and Jared Alpers
Miya Roccoforte and Jared Alpers
great looking team
great looking team
standing tall in front of a big crowd
standing tall in front of a big crowd
heading for home in pole bending
heading for home in pole bending
Big Smiles at the School Days Show.  Branson Jernigan and Kaden Stone.
Big Smiles at the School Days Show. Branson Jernigan and Kaden Stone.
Bishop Mule Days, bishop news, eastern sierra news

Smile, It’s Time for Mule Days

Bishop Mule Days Celebration begins

The 2015 Bishop Mule Days Celebration is underway, the theme of the 2015 Mule Days is “Year of the Working Mule”.  A full schedule of events is posted on the mule days website, go to muledays.org for a full list of shows, events, and clinics.



Don’t miss the “I want to be a packer” youth activities.  All activities are free. Admission to the fairgrounds is free for all adults and youth. Join in the fun at the “I Want to be a Packer” activities center on the main walkway to the grandstand.

Bishop Mule Days will welcome back the amazing Percheron Thunder. The six-Percheron hitch driven by Jason Goodman is schedule to appear in most of Mule Days’ weekend shows, as well as during the Saturday morning parade, which begins at 10am.


Photo by Arnie Palu, not of Arnie Palu
Photo by Arnie Palu, not of Arnie Palu

bundle up, cool temps expected this week

bundle up, cool temps expected this week

long ears, big fun
long ears, big fun
bishop mule days, bishop california, percheron thunder