Skip to main content

Christmas coming to Bishop

December 2, 2013

Bishop resident Gianna Joy Gehringer, 2, recently helped decorate the Christmas tree at the Bishop Chamber of Commerce. Her miraculous recovery from Stage 4 cancer is the inspiration behind the Chamber’s theme for the 2013 Christmas parade, “Miracles on Main Street.” Gia Joy is the grand marshal. Photo courtesy Bishop Chamber of Commerce

This Christmas season, the community of Bishop will be celebrating “Miracles on Main Street” and honoring young cancer survivor Gia Joy Gehringer, who was diagnosed with Stage 4 cancer almost exactly one year ago.
Gehringer will serve as grand marshal of this year’s Bishop Christmas Parade and the Salvation Army has planned a candle-light vigil in honor of her and all children suffering from major illnesses at the Bishop Christmas Tree Lighting Ceremony this Friday.
Bishop’s Community Christmas Celebration kicks off at 4:30 p.m. Friday with a meet and greet with Santa Claus at the Chamber of Commerce at the north of Bishop City Park. Keeping with tradition, local youngsters are invited to sit down with Father Christmas and tell him what they hope to see under the tree Christmas morning and have their photos taken.
At 5:30 p.m., just across the creek from the Chamber in the City Park, residents are invited to gather for food, music and merriment at the annual Christmas Tree Lighting Ceremony.
Bishop Chamber Events Coordinator April Leeson said the tree lighting event will feature the Elm Street Band of Long Beach, which performed a set of classic rock and classic Christmas hits during last year’s tree lighting.
Also, Glass Onion Catering and the Salvation Army will be on hand with hot chocolate, chili and other treats to help residents keep warm during the event, while McDonald’s of Bishop and Schat’s Bakkery will be offering cookies and cupcakes.
The Chamber will flip the switch and light the tree, which is being decorated today by Bishop City Park and Southern California Edison staff, promptly at 6 p.m.
Immediately following the tree lighting ceremony, residents and visitors are invited to head downtown, where the Chamber and local businesses will be teaming up to give residents an opportunity to knock a few friends and family members off their Christmas shopping list with the annual Street of Lights event.
During Street of Lights, holiday shoppers are invited to stop by the Chamber and pick up a map that shows where they can find the 40-plus businesses who will be open late Friday night with a host of Christmas deals and sweet treats for residents.
Leeson said that each business a resident stops at will stamp their location on the Street of Lights map. At the end of the event, participants are invited to turn their map in to the Chamber booth on Academy Street to be entered into a drawing for dozens of prizes, including gift certificates from each of the participating businesses, and a grand prize of $500.
During the Street of Lights, Leeson said that many local businesses offer samples, door prizes and other treats for holiday shoppers. “There are lots of goodies, the businesses like to kind of mix it up every year, but there is always hot chocolate, cookies and The Meat House is on track to have chili again this year,” Leeson said.
Also, New-Cali Landscapes will set up burn barrels at several Main Street intersections so residents can keep warm. Leeson said the burn barrels are provided by the U.S. Forest Service, wood is donated by GC Forest Product and sand for the pits is donated by 7-11 Materials, Inc.
Holiday shoppers also have an opportunity to hear the Bishop Union High School Choir and Sweet Adelines, who will be out caroling on Main Street during the Street of Lights event.
The Street of Lights is scheduled to wrap up at 9 p.m. with the raffle drawing on Academy.
On Saturday morning, residents and visitors are invited to head back to Main Street for the annual Bishop Christmas Parade, featuring more than 40 entries from local businesses, clubs and individuals.
Leeson said residents who would like to participate in the parade rather than watch from the sidelines have until tomorrow, Wednesday, Dec. 3 to register. “We accept just about anyone,” Leeson said, pointing out that many residents participate in the parade as individuals.
Gehringer, this year’s parade grand marshal, was diagnosed with cancer last December. Following several months in a children’s hospital in Southern California and several rounds of chemotherapy, little Gia Joy was welcomed home this past July.
“I’ve kinda been following Gia’s story in the newspaper and I thought it would be a good fit for Christmas,” Leeson said, adding that Gehringer is the inspiration behind this year’s theme of Miracles on Main Street.
The Christmas parade will make its way up Main Street from South Street to the Bishop City Park, where the holiday fun will continue with Altrusa International of the Eastern Sierra’s annual meet and greet with Santa and Mrs. Claus at the park’s front gazebo.
The Bishop Volunteer Fire Department, which provides the Clauses with a ride for the Main Street Parade, will deliver the couple and their elf helpers to the gazebo. As youngsters tell Santa what they want for Christmas this year, Altrusa will give out a new, age-appropriate book along with a candy cane and new toothbrush to each youngster.
Altrusa also provides enough time for parents to take photos of their little ones with Santa.  
The club will also have the popular “Spin the Wheel” game available for the youngsters, which gives them a chance to win their favorite stuffed toy.  
And the fun doesn’t stop there. Following Altrusa’s Santa in the Park event, residents and visitors are invited to head over to the Tri-County Fairgrounds for the first annual Holiday Craft Bazaar.
The Holiday Craft Bazaar will be held from noon-6 p.m. on Saturday in the Tallman Pavilion building, just to the right of the fairgrounds office in the RV lot.
According to the fairgrounds, the hope is the bazaar will become an annual event featuring holiday craft items from local and visiting merchants.
In addition to the holiday shopping opportunities, Fairgrounds Office Manager Suzie Gruwell will help youngsters make their own creations at the Kids’ Crafts Corner. All materials will be provided free of charge to children of all ages.
Following the craft fair, from 2-4 p.m. holiday revelers are invited to head out to Laws Railroad Museum for the first “Looking for Santa” train ride. During the new event, local youngsters and their families are invited to hop a ride on the Laws Line and tour the museum grounds in an effort to find Old Saint Nick’s hiding place. Once Santa has been found, participants will have yet another opportunity to tell him their Christmas wish list.
But the Christmas Cheer doesn’t stop this weekend. Inyo residents can also look forward to the Lone Pine Christmas Parade, the Independence Fruitcake Festival and other festivities in Southern Inyo, and the popular Christmas Decorating contest for businesses and residents in Bishop. Read more about those events in future editions of The Inyo Register.

Premium Drupal Themes by Adaptivethemes