The Grand Entry into the Tri-County Fairgrounds arena following the 2011 Mule Days Parade. Tickets for arena events, concerts and dinners go on sale tomorrow. File photo
Tickets go on sale tomorrow for the 43rd Annual Mule Days Celebration. This includes tickets to nearly every event this Memorial Day weekend, May 22-27, from the Opening Night Supper to various arena events to headliner, Terri Clark on Thursday night.
There are special packages, all show passes and general admission tickets going on sale on a first-come first-served basis at the Mule Days box office on North Main Street, across from Home Lumber Company at the northeast entrance to the fairgrounds or online at muledays.org.
The Mule Days 2012 events officially begin on Tuesday, May 22, but the fairgrounds open for RVs, and for barns and stalls for contestants Sunday, May 20.
The arena events begin Tuesday, May 22 with various driving and pleasure events, starting at 8 a.m.
More jumping, hunters and dressage events begin Wednesday at 8 a.m. in the arena.
That night is a Mule Days tradition, the Opening Night Supper that starts at 5 p.m. Wednesday, featuring Dave Stamey. Stamey is returning for another year of yodeling and entertaining the crowd.
The opening night dinner is a chance to rub elbows with Mule Days royalty, like event cofounder Bob Tanner, mule historian and artist Mary Roeser or one of the Sonkeâ€™s who have been part of Mule Days for several generations.
Mule Days is, of course, the major Eastern Sierra event that attracts folks from all walks of life and involvement from all over the country to come together with the singular purpose of celebrating the mule and all it has, and has had to offer. The week-long event includes one of the biggest non-motorized parades on the planet, dinners, parties, and an arts and crafts fair so big a cowboy canâ€™t swing a lasso without knocking over some mule-related kitsch.
More arena events are scheduled for Thursday, but the Main Arena is reserved for the preparation of the concert by multi-million album selling country star, Terri Clark.
â€śA dynamic live performer and one of the rare female country artists capable of throwing down some impressive guitar work, the Canada native has toured with such superstars as Brooks & Dunn, Reba McEntire and George Strait,â€ť the Mule Days office said when her performance was announced.
The concert is presented by Justin Boots and Tony Lama Boots, and is co-sponsored by KIBS, 100.7 FM.
The arena events kick into high gear on Friday with chariot races, hitching competitions and the ever-popular Packerâ€™s Scramble.
There is also the Mule Days barbecue scheduled for Friday in the Charles Brown Auditorium.
The Mule Days parade, one of the longest non-motorized parades in the world starts promptly at 10 a.m. on Saturday. The parade is free, but getting a good seat is a competition with some folks putting out chairs on Main Street as early as Thursday.
The parade is followed by the Grand Entry into the Main Arena. In the past the arena has held the Borax 20-Mule Team, the Budweiser Clydesdales wagon train as well the Preifert Percherons, all at one time.
Arena events continue on Saturday with the individual Packing Contest, Team Packer Scramble, Chariot Steer Stopping and the all new Mark Berry Mystery Packing Scramble.
Saturday night is the Mule Days Adult Country Dance starting at 8:30 p.m. in the Charles Brown Auditorium.
Another long-time tradition that grows in popularity every year is the Sunday Cowboy Church 10 a.m. in the Charles Brown Auditorium. Event organizer Karen Mitchell said for some folks this is their yearly Bible service. Mitchell added its more fun and camaraderie than service with every person of any, or no denomination is welcome.
Mitchell said that the service is also a way to honor those for whom the holiday weekend has been bestowed. Memorial Day is a national holiday, a day set aside to honor and remember those who have paid the ultimate sacrifice in defending and fighting for the United States.
Sunday morning offers more fun arena events including Mule Shoeing and the Hidden Creeks Ranch Jumper Classic.
World Champion Awards are given at 7 p.m. Sunday in the Main Arena.
For more information, tickets and RV spaces to come go to muledays.net, or call (760) 872-4263.