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Old West Days in Jackson Hole

Jackson Hole is said to be “the last of the Old West” and one of the annual events held here celebrates that claim in spades: Old West Days.
Mountain Man Rendezvous & Traders Row

Jackson Hole's Old West Days

The West lives on in Jackson Hole and the annual event that celebrates that spirit is is fittingly called Old West Days. A favorite among locals and visitors alike, it is traditionally hosted over Memorial Day weekend.

The 37th annual Old West Days will be presented May 26 through May 29, 2017. The festival features an Old West-themed parade, the Mountain Man Rendezvous, beginning of rodeo season, Old West Brew Fest and the launch of stagecoach rides and the infamous Jackson Hole Shootout, among other events. (See the schedule below.)

Mountain Man Rendezvous & Traders Row

Jackson Hole Old West Days Schedule of Events

THURSDAY, MAY 25
Mountain Man Rendezvous and Traders' Row - 5-7 p.m. at the Teton County Fairgrounds. Pre-1840 Mountain Men Celebration complete with a Traders Row, candy cannon, bow and arrow competition, hawk and knife competition and Atlatal competition.

FRIDAY, MAY 26
Mountain Man Rendezvous and Traders' Row -9 a.m.-5 p.m. at the Teton County Fairgrounds. Pre-1840 Mountain Men celebration complete with a Traders Row, candy cannon, bow and arrow competition, hawk and knife competition and Atlatal competition.

Jackson Hole Historical Society and Museum Free Walking Tour - 10:30 a.m. Meet at the center of Town Square for this fun and educational tour of historic downtown Jackson.

Kick-off at the Bar J - 7 p.m. at the Bar J Chuckwagon with nationally acclaimed Bar J Wranglers. You'll be served up a truly Western style chuckwagon dinner and enjoy world-class cowboy entertainment. Reservations recommended. 307-733-3370.

Jackson Hole Old West Days

SATURDAY, MAY 27

Mountain Man Rendezvous and Traders' Row - 9 a.m.-5 p.m. at the Teton County Fairgrounds. Pre-1840 Mountain Men Celebration complete with a Traders Row, candy cannon, bow and arrow competition, hawk and knife competition and Atlatal competition.

Jackson Hole Historical Society and Museum Information Booth - 9a.m.-noon on Town Square

37th Annual Old West Days Parade - 10 a.m. on Town Square. One of the last and best horse-drawn parades of the Old West! Enjoy mountain men, vintage vehicles, covered wagons and the legendary gathering of gunslingers of the West.

Indians of the Greater Yellowstone Museum - 10 a.m. Opens for the summer season on the corner of Glenwood and Deloney.

Old Town Entertainment - 11 a.m.-3:30 p.m. on Town Square. Country Western music, kids crafts and activities, a mechanical buffalo, demonstrations, cowboy poetry, line dancers and a Cowpoke Rodeo!

Old West Brew Fest - 11 a.m.-5 p.m. on Town Square. Try a sampling of an age-old craft. More than a dozen regional craft breweries will gather under one tent on Town Square, offering their best beers to tasters and asking for their vote, with the coveted Golden Boot Award going to the brew with the most votes. Entrance is free and beers may be traded for wooden nickels purchased at the entrance. Each token is $1. One token = one taste. There are special $10 and $20 packages for those who are planning to enjoy a larger variety of breweries. Commemorative mugs are $5. If you have a vintage OWD mug, remember to bring it along to help reduce waste. This event has become one of the biggest Old West Days attractions.

Stage Coach Rides - 11 a.m.-5 p.m. Stage Coach Rides around historic downtown Jackson. Tickets are $6 adult, $4 child.

Jackson Hole Shootout - 6 p.m. on Town Square. The longest running shootout in the country, since 1957. To learn more about the Shootout Gang, click here.

Jackson Hole Shootout Street Dance - 6:30-9 p.m. Under the tent on Deloney. Join the Shootout Gang and members of the Jackson Hole Playhouse for an Old West Street Dance on the Town Square. Never Sweat will be playing all night long. All ages welcome.

Jackson Hole Rodeo - 8 p.m. at Teton County Fairgrounds. This is the real thing pardner, the original American sport of authentic ranch skills.  

Mountain Man Rendezvous & Traders Row

SUNDAY, MAY 28

Mountain Man Rendezvous and Traders' Row - 9 a.m.-5 p.m. at the Teton County Fairgrounds. Pre-1840 Mountain Men Celebration complete with a Traders Row, candy cannon, bow and arrow competition, hawk and knife competition and Atlatal competition. 

Wyoming Cowboy Church - 10 a.m. on Town Square. Good old fashioned, non-denominational service with longtime local Phillip Wilson; under the tent on Deloney.

Stage Coach Rides - 11 a.m.-5 p.m. Stage Coach Rides around historic downtown Jackson. Tickets are $6 adult, $4 child.

Free Historical Downtown Walking Tour - 2 p.m. Meet at the center of Town Square for this fun and educational tour of historic downtown Jackson with the Jackson Hole Historical Society.

MEMORIAL DAY: MONDAY, MAY 29

Mountain Man Rendezvous and Traders' Row - 9 a.m.-5 p.m. at the Teton County Fairgrounds. Pre-1840 Mountain Men Celebration complete with a Traders Row, candy cannon, bow and arrow competition, hawk and knife competition and Atlatal competition. 

Mountain Man Memorial Day Ceremony - 9 a.m. at Teton County Fairgrounds.

American Legion Memorial Service - 10 a.m. on Town Square. Memorial Day ceremonies at the flagpole.

Stage Coach Rides - 11 a.m.-5 p.m. Stage Coach Rides around historic downtown Jackson. Tickets are $6 adult, $4 child.

Jackson Hole Shootout - 6 p.m. on Town Square. The longest running shootout in the country, since 1957.

Old West Days Parade - Jackson Hole

Old West Days Parade

The Old West Days Parade steps off in Town Square at 10 a.m. on May 27th. The march was originally a Memorial Day parade before becoming an Old West event 37 years ago.

Horses, covered wagons, cowboys of all kinds and mountain men in the garb of the fur trapper era set the tone of the Old West Days theme.

The parade also includes civic groups such as the Jackson Hole Lions Club, Kiwanis, Elks Lodge and Shrine Club, as well as Teton County Fair and Rodeo Royalty, the Jackson Hole Historical Society and Museum, the Bar T-5 Chuckwagon and Spring Creek and Heart Six ranches, among dozens of other participants.  

Fun Fact

Jackson Hole was originally called Jackson’s Hole, named after fur trapper Davey Jackson who came to the area in 1822, along with fellow trappers Jedediah Smith, Jim Bridger and William Sublette. Trappers often referred to any valley or depression between mountain ranges as a “hole.” Eventually, the apostrophe “s” was dropped and the valley has been known as Jackson Hole ever since.  

It is said that Jackson attended the first Mountain Man Rendezvous in the Green River area of Wyoming in 1825.

Mountain Man Rendezvous & Traders Row

Mountain Man Rendezvous

If you like history and you like romance, you are going to like the Jackson Hole Mountain Man Rendezvous.

This decades-old event has been a tradition in the valley and a focal point of the annual Old West Days weekend festivities.

Tipis, tomahawks and buckskin-attired mountain men (and women) aren’t the usual inhabitants of Teton County Fairgrounds. But a blast from Jackson Hole’s past will be in residence at the rodeo grounds until Memorial Day (May 29th), allowing a look back into the fur-trade era of the Wild West. The rendezvous traditionally begins during ElkFest and continues through Old West Days. This year it started on May 14. There is no fee to attend this throwback experience to the Old West.

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