Mule Days: 20 Mule Team & Frankie “Punkintown” Smith

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20 Mule Team

At the Bishop Mule Days Celebration, this almost magical piece of history comes to life with the modern 20 Mule Team display.The famous 20 Mule Team became an icon of American industry as long hitches of mules hauled two beautiful borax wagons across the Mojave desert.These wagons were completed in 2016 after nearly ten years of extensive research and fundraising by the Death Valley Conservancy, Rio Tinto Borates, and teamster Bobby Tanner.

The team traveled to Pasadena to appear in the 2017 Tournament of Roses parade. Later that year, the team traveled across the country to be part of the 4th of Julyparade in Washington DC. This was a truly historic moment for the team, as the original 20 Mule Team, which was used to market Borax soap, was part of the 1917 Rose Parade as well as the 1917 inaugural parade for President Woodrow Wilson. One hundred years after the original team visited Washington, the bells of the 20 Mule Team were heard in the capital city once again.



The team will be part of the Mule Days parade at 10 a.m.Saturday, May 26 on Main Street in Bishop, but it also will be in the Sunday afternoon show on Sunday, May 27. After the show, the audience is invited to come into the arena to meet the mules and their two-legged companions in person.

This year marks Punkintown’s fifth year of entertaining Mule Days crowds. In his first year, Punkintown came as a stand-up comedian and pastor, performing acts with his trick pony and making everyone laugh with his arena antics. Today, Punkintown travels the country as a friend and ambassador of the mule; from working cattle to shows where he stands on his mule, Mini Pearl’s back, clogging and entertaining crowds in brightly lit arenas. Punkintown says mules inspire him. Mules are different than any animal he has ever encountered, and forming a partnership with a mule is something truly special. Punkintown says the Bishop Mule Days Celebration is his favorite place to come every year and the graciousness of the mule world is truly unique.

Frankie “Punkintown” Smith will be entertaining all weekend in the main arena as “Punkintown” the clown. He also will lead the Cowboy Church service on Sunday morning at 10:00 am in the Charles Brown Auditorium. Don’t miss as he and Mini Pearl demonstrate the versatility and true partnership between a man and a mule who packs, drives, rides, and clogs.

Call the Mule Days Office to purchase tickets at 760-872-4263
Click here to get tickets online.