Independence, Bishop, and Mammoth Lakes
Celebrating Independence Day in the Eastern Sierra starts early with free fishing on Saturday and ends late with free fireworks on Tuesday.
Why not take Monday off and make a mini-vacation, long-weekend out of it? From Saturday, July 1st to Tuesday, July 4th there’s a whole lotta fun.
From the city of Independence to the town of Mammoth Lakes, with Bishop midway between you’ll find pancake breakfasts, parades, free fishing, free swimming, train rides, a running race, baseball, volleyball, bocce, free watermelon, pie and ice cream, arts and crafts fairs, and of course fireworks – lots and lots of fireworks!
Here’s a great guide to a great time in the Eastern Sierra around the Independence Day holiday. You’ll find contact details and links for more information about the events below. Stop in at the Bishop Visitor Center at 690 N. Main Street for the best advice, excellent maps & directions, and details on other great weekend activities and paces to visit in the area.
Click on the toggles below to find out more about free fishing, train rides, camping, and an arts festival.
Saturday, July 1: Free Fishing
California Free Fishing Day – all day
Whether you’re an old hand at angling or new to the fun of fishing, Saturday, July 1st in the Eastern Sierra is probably going to be the best fishing you can have all year. The California Department of Fish & Wildlife (CDFW) offers two Free Fishing Days each year and Saturday, July 1st is one of them.
All fishing regulations, such as bag and size limits, gear restrictions, report card requirements, fishing hours, and stream closures remain in effect on Saturday, July 1st, but anyone can fish without purchasing a fishing license.
The choices of lake fishing, river fishing, bait fishing or fly-fishing are almost endless. Find solitude in the water on your own or take loved ones and friends along and share your skills and love of angling. Did you know that June 3rd – 11th is National Fishing and Boating week? Go get your gear, boat, kids, and friends ready for some fishing!
Saturday & Sunday, July 1 & 2: Train Rides
Laws Railroad Museum and Historical Site
Silver Canyon Rd., Bishop
10:30am to 2:30pm
Laws Railroad Museum & Historical Site is running train rides on the Death Valley Railroad Car on Saturday and Sunday.
Tickets may be purchased either at the Train Station (cash only), or in the Reception Center Gift Shop (credit cards accepted). Prices are $5 per person, children under 10 $1 each. Small children sitting on an adult’s lap are free. Pets must be leashed.
Each ride takes about fifteen minutes and, if demand is high, rides may run until 3:30pm. The schedule is subject to change due to weather, mechanical break-down, pandemic restrictions, or other unforeseen circumstances.
Call 760-873-5950 for more info.
Monday, July 3: Camping
Fourth of July camping – an American tradition
There are tons of great camping options in and around Bishop. Bring the kids, the pets, your BBQ and all your toys. Load up the bikes, rafts, kayaks, fishing rods, tennis racquets, cameras, kites, and backpacks. Whatever you have we have a place for you to have fun with it.
Look at these previous blog posts for lots more information about camping and fishing.
Saturday - Tuesday, July 1 - 4: Arts Festival
Arts on the 4th Festival
The annual Arts on the 4th Festival is a showcase for local and visiting artists and crafters. The festival runs for four days, July 1 – 4, in the Footloose Sports parking lot, with a great view of the Mammoth Lakes parade on July 4th. Visit Tony’s Tavern—in honor of Footloose Sports founder Tony Colasardo; the Splash Art Booth—where you can make art by tossing paint filled balloons at a canvas; and the Kids’ Art Booth—where kids of all ages can get involved in fun art projects each day; and be moved by the music at Marty’s Music Corner.
Free Parking in the Park & Ride lot off Old Mammoth Rd. and free Trolley service within Mammoth Lakes city limits makes it easy to get around all weekend and on July 4th.
The booths and vendors are open to the public on Saturday, Sunday, and Monday from 10am to 6pm, and from 9am to 4pm on July 4th.
Tuesday, July 4th
Independence : Dawn to Dusk
It’s an Independence Day tradition in Independence! Fill up at the pancake breakfast, dress up for the parade, show up for the arts and crafts and games, eat up at the pie and ice cream and barbecue places, rock up for the music concerts, and look up for the fireworks.
Independence, CA is the Inyo County seat, and the July 4th celebration is known for its old-fashioned fun and charm. Register for the parade here.
Bishop : Noon – 9pm
Bishop City Park
The 4th in the Park is the big one in Bishop! It’s an all-day event for the whole family. Free swimming at the park pool, free live music, free watermelon, pie & ice cream and free fireworks! There will be food & craft vendors; a beer & wine bar—a fundraiser by the Tri-County Fair and Event Center; a bike and scooter decorating contest; and free fireworks—oh yeah, we said that. 🙂
Here’s the schedule.
Noon: Booths and vendors open
1pm: Free watermelon, pie, and ice cream (‘til it’s gone) sponsored by the Bishop City Council
1pm – 4pm: Free swimming at the Bishop City Park Pool
3:30pm: Watermelon eating contest hosted by Grocery Outlet
4:30pm – 5:15pm: Live music by Carbe and Durand (from Incendio)
5:30pm: Star Spangled Bike and Scooter Decorating Contest
6:15pm – 7:45pm: Live music by Bishop Jazz Combo
9pm: FREE FIREWORKS presented by the Bishop Volunteer Fire Department in association with Wanaaha Casino. Tune into KIBS/KBOV 100.7 for synchronized Firework Music!
Bring your barbecue, coolers, and shade. Play tennis, bocce, or sand volleyball on the local courts. Ride the skate rink. No personal alcohol allowed, no smoking anywhere in the park, and no pets allowed.
Open to all. Call 760-873-5863 for info.
Mammoth Lakes : 8:30am – 9:45pm
Fourth of July is high altitude fun in Mammoth Lakes. It starts with the Footloose Freedom Mile; continues with the 4th of July Parade; has an all-day arts and crafts fair, and ends with Fireworks!
Here’s the schedule for all these fun activities.
8:30am: Register for the fun run or come out and support your runners in the Mammoth Track Club Footloose Freedom Mile. Pre-registration costs $25 and day-of registration costs $30. Pre-register here. Festive July 4th outfits are encouraged. No dogs allowed.
9am – 4pm: Arts on the 4th booths and vendors open.
10:30am: Footloose Freedom Mile race starts from Snowcreek Driving Range
11:00am: The 4th of July Parade in Mammoth Lakes starts at the intersection of Chateau Road and Old Mammoth Road (by Salsa’s Taqueria) and ends at Manzanita Road and Main Street (by A-Frame Fine Wines & Spirits). Bring beach chairs, umbrellas, cooler boxes, and towels. It’ll be a hot one and you’re likely to get hosed down!
9:15pm: Fireworks Spectacular at Crowley Lake. The “Sky Concert” will propel over 737 shells into the Eastern Sierra sky for a mesmerizing 20-minutes beginning at approximately 9:15pm (weather permitting). Admission: $25.00 per car, RV or truck (excludes camping); $5.00 per individual/bike (walking/riding).