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Everyone in Inyo County is aware that Bishop is celebrating Mule Days this week with traditional rodeo events, food and lots of family fun. What many residents may not know, however, is that many Mule Days activities are free and open to all.
Mule Days officially kicks off today with morning and afternoon shows in the Mike Boothe Memorial Arena, shops and vendors selling wares at the fairgrounds and demonstrations from veteran cowboys and cowgirls.
Mule Days President Dan Dean said Monday that everyone in Inyo County is invited to stop by the fairgrounds, free of charge, to take in the sights, see a show and meet new friends who travel from all over the country and abroad to enjoy the community during Memorial Day weekend.
â€śYou donâ€™t have to pay,â€ť Dean said. â€śThereâ€™s lots to do. Always. Thereâ€™s a chuckwagon display and at different times there are different seminars you can see. We donâ€™t even charge people to go into the shows until Saturdayâ€ť when the main events begin taking place. â€śThereâ€™s a lot going on.â€ť
Though tickets are required for events in the Mike Boothe Memorial Arena on Saturday and Sunday, Dean said there is still plenty more going on at the fairgrounds over the weekend, including free kids programs (see Mule Wrap, pg. 1) that get youngsters involved. In addition to educational workshops for the kids, youngsters can play dress up at the Packer Makeover and get time in the spotlight in the Main Arena during stick mule rodeo events.
Dean said residents who may not want to spend a lot of money this weekend, or donâ€™t want to fight crowds, are encouraged to stop by the fairgrounds during the week.
On Thursday, local students will be heading to Mule Days to catch a show and learn a little bit about the event. â€śThatâ€™s a helluva lot of fun,â€ť Dean said of having local youngsters in the Main Arena for an event.
Throughout the weekend local and visiting experts will be hosting seminars on everything from training horses and mules in basic obedience, to healthcare for equines.
Those who are planning to attend the arena events at this yearâ€™s show are encouraged to check the Mule Days schedule (see Mule Wrap, pg. 2) as times and dates for the events have changed over the past few years. Dean said the change was specifically to mix things up for residents. â€śFor years, if you came to the Saturday show in 1980 then again in â€™84, it was the same show, other than the faces changing.â€ť
Dean said that many residents can only attend one or two Mule Days events each year due to busy work schedules. By mixing up the arena events, if a resident can only attend the Friday show each year, they can expect to see something new every time they take a seat in the Mike Boothe Memorial Arena.
â€śThereâ€™s shopping, thereâ€™s food, there really is a lot going on and people should stop and check it out, particularly if they havenâ€™t been in a while, because weâ€™re heading in a new direction,â€ť Dean said.
Mule Days events kick off at 8 a.m. today, 6 a.m. Wednesday and Thursday and 7 a.m. Friday. Each day also includes afternoon shows, beginning at 1 p.m. Events begin at 1 p.m. Saturday (as the annual Mule Days parade begins at 10 a.m. Saturday morning) and everything wraps up Sunday, with the morning show opening at 7 a.m.