Traveling along Highway 395, Bishop sits near the Sierra Nevada Mountain Range. PHOTO via WIKIMEDIA COMMONS
Bishop prides itself in its scenery, outdoor recreation and rural charm. Though located in a high desert climate in the valley, thousands come through Bishop each year, for its annual celebrations and beautiful wildlife.
You can find Tule Elk and Mule Deer in the winter months, and witness great migrations of birds during the fall and spring. Birdwatching is popular year-round and many hunters make their way to Bishop during the winter.
Members of the Bishop Chamber of Commerce say they are eager to get events rolling smoothly and safely.
“It looks like we’re in good shape,” says Tawni Thompson, president of the chamber. “We hold events outdoors whenever we can, but we’re very hopeful 2022 will get us closer to how we remember things.”
The website has several events listed for the year, with something for all ages to enjoy.
Kicking off the new year, the California Hawking Club will hold its annual Field Meet at the Tri-County Fairgrounds scheduled for Jan. 12-15. Falconers come fly their birds on wild game, attend clinics and workshops, buy equipment and attend lectures by guest speakers.
Falconry is described as the art of hunting with a trained bird of prey on wild quarry in its natural habitat.
“It's like a conference for falconers,” explains Thompson. “It’s very cool to watch, and what they do helps the environment and farmers.”
In March the Flash Foxy Climbing Festival will take place from March 25-27. Formerly known as the Women’s Climbing Festival, the Flash Foxy encourages a safe and welcoming space for veteran and beginner climbers. Bishop traditionally offers world-class bouldering in addition to hundreds of sport and trad routes nearby.
Beginner climbers are welcomed to come learn more about climbing through workshops and clinics. The festival will feature film screenings, community bonding sessions and live music.
Flash Foxy will also incorporate land acknowledgements in honor of Indigenous people and donate a portion of the funds raised to local tribal councils and cultural centers.
Bishop Mule Days is deemed the “Greatest Mule Show on Earth”, an annual event that has taken place over Memorial Day weekend for more than 50 years. The 2022 event will start the week of Mar. 22, lasting almost a week. Bishop Mule Days 2022 marks the 53rd anniversary.
There is no way to actually describe Mule Days. It is part mule show, part test of skills, and part Wild West show, according to the Mule Days website. There are more than a dozen shows featuring hundreds of mules with their trainers, riders and packers.
Mule shows will consist of several categories including cattle working, racing, and musical tires. Announcers will take the microphone to both educate and entertain the audience.
Tens of thousands are expected to attend the event at the Tri-County Fairgrounds and the Mike Booth Arena to watch events and visit exhibitors. In addition to competitive events, Mule Days will feature country music artists, barbecues and an Arts & Crafts show hosted by the Inyo Council for the Arts in the Bishop City Park.
A mule pack string operated by the Rock Creek Pack Station participating in the Bishop Mule Days parade. PHOTO BY JIM HEAPHY via WIKIMEDIA COMMONS