Enjoy the spirit of Davey Jackson and become a mountain man during Old West Day’s Mountain Man Rendezvous. Stroll through the pre-1840 era Fur Trade re-enactment, where mountain men from all over the west, gather in Jackson Hole to sell and trade their goods.
Stroll down Trader's Row where heirloom-quality handmade goods, or take cover with canons firing candy as cowboys and gunslingers gather with poets, artists, bows, and arrows to enjoy line dancing and the Tomahawk and Knife competition.
Don’t miss the Atlatl competition! The spear-thrower, also called Throwing-stick, or Atlatl, a device for throwing a spear (or dart) usually consisting of a rod or board with a groove on the upper surface and a hook, thong, or projection at the rear end to hold the weapon in place until its release.
Yes, you can take part in mountain man competitions like tomahawk tosses, bow-and-arrow shooting, or knife-throwing at the Rendezvous throughout Old West Days.
Unique historic goods overflow through the trading booths making the shopping trip, a history lesson about early visitors to Jackson Hole who traveled the trails and survived the extreme climate of the West. Primitive archery, storytelling, and the famous Candy Cannon are annual favorites for residents and locals alike who enjoy the Jackson’s earliest heroes like John Colter, Jim Bridger, Jedidiah Smith, Tom “Broken Hand” Fitzpatrick, Kit Carson, Joe Meek, Bill Sublette, and Davy Jackson.
Mountain Man Rendezvous takes place May 19-27, 2023, all festival long at the Grassy Arena at the Teton County Fairgrounds.
On Saturday, enjoy the Elk Fest.
The first Boy Scout Elk Antler Auction was in 1968. Since then, the Jackson Hole Chamber of Commerce and partners have been building out the festivities every year. At 8 a.m. antler admirers can begin perusing one of the world’s most impressive selections of private antlers, paddles, horns, bison skulls, and bighorn sheep skulls. Educational activities for the whole family are hosted by Wyoming Game and Fish and The National Elk Refuge to a free concert by Jackson Hole Community Band. Even if you’re not taking part in the bidding, the spectacle is something to see on the Town Square.
On Sunday, the signature gastronomical event for all cowboys and cowgirls is the High Noon Chili Cookoff. The competition for the coveted chili trophy is sought after by professionals and amateurs alike. This year’s comp for bragging rights to the best chili in town will celebrate 20 years of red, white, and green chilis. Chefs are required to prepare at least 10 gallons of their recipe made of beef, with spices that range from cumin to coffee.
Purchase a $20 all-you-can-sample spoon to try all the chili you want, grab a beer to wash it down (21+), and vote for your fave!
The Best of the West Parade showcases the best of Jackson Hole, including history, heritage, the community, and the world-class recreation surrounding Jackson Hole. Watch as a parade of floats makes its way down Broadway, right past the world-famous Elk Antler Arches. Enjoy watching cowboys and cowgirls, mountain men, skiers, snowboarders, and fly-fishers as they hand out candy to attendees. This all-ages event takes place on Saturday, May 27th at 10 am.
Immediately after the Best of the West parade is the Old West Days Brewfest, an Old West Days classic. Enjoy world-class beers from breweries all over the Western United States. Participants will get to rate the beers and breweries they think are the best by tipping them a token. The brewery with the most tokens is proclaimed the top brewery of Old West Days and gets bragging rights for the whole year. The Old West Days Brewfest takes place May 27th, from 11 am - 4 pm. It is $50 to enter.