It’s time to celebrate America’s birthday as a community once again, this time in the Bishop City Park. Together with its amazing community partners, the Bishop Volunteer Fire Department is preparing to give Bishop an Independence Day to remember. Traditionally held at the Bishop Airport, this year the fireworks and Fourth of July party will be held at the City Park for the first time. The entire park will be full of activity throughout the day, and everyone is invited to come celebrate.
“If the last year taught us anything it’s that we shouldn’t take moments with our friends and loved ones for granted,” said Bishop Mayor Stephen Muchovej. “None of us know what the future holds, but one thing we do know is that this year’s Fourth of July in the park will be a blast! I can’t think of a better way to celebrate our country’s birthday than gathering with friends, old and new, at the City Park; getting some free ice cream and pie while supplies last; swimming at the pool with free admission all day; and enjoying some amazing fireworks once the sun sets. See you all there!”
For maps and to stay up-to-date on the latest information, visit http://4thinthepark.com.
For more information, call the city of Bishop, City Hall, (760) 873-5863, ext. 24.
With all the pandemic shut-downs last year, Bishop’s volunteer firefighters got creative to help the community celebrate the Fourth of July, driving through town in the department’s water tenders, spraying down kids. It was so popular that the firefighters decided to do it again this year. They will be bringing the water tenders to scheduled locations so that everyone can enjoy some water-fight fun with their local firefighters. Three of the department’s water tenders will be participating, and they will be staying at each scheduled location for a half hour. Everyone is invited to come out, cool off and play in the water.
• City Park, front band stand – noon to 12:30 p.m.
• Izaac Walton Park on W. Line Street – noon to 12:30 p.m.
• Meadow Creek II Park at Saniger and Choctaw – noon to 12:30 p.m.
• Home Street Middle School, bus parking area – 1 p.m. to 1:30 p.m.
• Barlow Gym, Barlow and Diaz – 1 p.m. to 1:30 p.m.
• Highlands Family Community Center, MacGregor and Brigadoon – 1 p.m. to 1:30 p.m.
• Old Wilkerson, at the Gerkin Road dead end cul-de-sac – 2 p.m. to 2:30 p.m.
• Park West Park, just east of S. Barlow Lane on Sunset – 2 p.m. to 2:30 p.m.
• City Park, front band stand – 2 p.m. to 2:30 p.m.
Big Day in the Park
Each year, the Bishop City Council waves fees for the park pool for the Fourth of July and serves pie, ice cream and watermelon in the city park. Free swimming at the park pool will be from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. Come meet the City Council and enjoy a free slice of pie from noon until it’s all gone. The Big Day at the Park will take place in the middle part of the park, between the pool and the skate park.
Playground ribbon cutting
Last year, the city of Bishop replaced the playground in the back of the City Park. Due to COVID, the new playground was closed for nearly all of 2020, but in celebration of Independence Day, the city will hold the grand opening of the new playground with a ribbon cutting at 2:30 p.m. at the playground, which is located in the back of the park.
Fourth of July Party
The party kicks off at 3 p.m. in the back of the park, where there will be food vendors, live music, and family fun. Families are invited to come out to the park and enjoy a tasty treat from local food vendors. Those who live downtown are encouraged to ride their bikes to the park or walk. Come early to get a good parking spot, since parking in the area is limited. Bring a picnic blanket, lawn chairs and the whole family for an afternoon celebration. There will be no personal fireworks allowed, no alcohol, and no dogs in the park, but lawn games and picnics are welcome. Be sure to bring a portable radio for tuning in to KIBS, 100.7 FM after sunset for synchronized music to go along with the town fireworks show.
The Inyo Council for the Arts will present live music in the park from 4-8 p.m. featuring some of the Eastern Sierra’s most beloved local talent.
Starting off the live music will be Idle Hands String Band. Specializing in American string band music from the mid 1800s to the present, including old time, bluegrass, folk and progressive folk, the Idle Hands String Band will take the stage at 4 p.m. in the park.
At 5:30 p.m., Sandy and the High Country will be taking the stage. Voted Owens Valley “Best of the Best” band, Sandy and the High Country delivers an eclectic mix of country, rock, R&B and Latin classics. Serving it up hot on the Fourth of July will be Chris McHugh on drums, Orion Boucher on bass, Mark Flippin on guitar, Jack Dilworth on keyboards and Sandy Anderson on vocals.
Scooter and bike decorating pageant
Children and adults alike are invited to participate in the first-ever Bishop bike and scooter pageant. Everyone is invited to decorate his or her bike or scooter and participate. Free pre-registration is required and can be done through the city’s website, https://bishopparksandrec.sportsites.com/player. Registration is open now, and closes July 2. The bikes and scooters will be cruising around the park beginning at 5 p.m. It’s nothing formal or fancy, just a bunch of folks decorating their rides and showing them off for fun.
Who in Bishop will take home the bragging rights for being the town’s watermelon-eating king or queen? Grocery Outlet of Bishop is sponsoring a contest to find out. Beginning at 7 p.m. at the rear pavilion at the park, the contest will take place under the Grocery Outlet Easy-Up. Watermelon lovers in three age categories will face off for the watermelon win. Age categories are 6-8, 9-12 and 13 and older. Participation is limited to ten people per age group. There will be some prizes up for grabs and the contest is free. Pre-registration is required and can be done at https://bishopparksandrec.sportsites.com/player.
Bishop Fire Department Fireworks Spectacular
After 9 p.m., tune in to KIBS, 100.7 FM and look to the sky for the fireworks spectacular, which will be launched from the east side of the Bishop City Park. Guests are welcome to spread out throughout the park, in the baseball fields, or watch from home in the downtown area.
Bishop fire captain and pyrotechnics specialist Don Kunze said this year the show will indeed be spectacular, with shells reaching as high as 600 feet.
The show was put together by world-famous Pryo-Spectaculars by Souza, the same company that puts together the Macy’s Celebration in New York City and other famous fireworks shows. Beyond the traditional shells imported for this show from Japan, Spain, China and shells made here in the United States, look for “pattern” shells with hearts, happy faces, Saturn rings, and geometric shapes.
“At some points, we will fill the sky with some of my favorite fireworks, Kumuro shells, which open with gold, first breaking as beautiful palms and then completing the effect with cascading golden waterfalls,” Kunze said. “As always, we will close the show a great finale shot that will break over 900 shots in less than 35 seconds. This should be a great show, for a great town celebrating a great country.”
The Fourth of July festivities this year have been sponsored by the city of Bishop, Inyo County, the Los Angeles Department of Water and Power, Wanaha Casino, the Inyo Council for the Arts, Bishop Fire Department, Bishop Area Chamber of Commerce, KIBS KBOV Radio, the Tri-County Fairgrounds, Reach Air Medical Services, Eastern Sierra Propane and Coso Operating Company.