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There’s very little about Jackson Hole that’s more “iconic Jackson Hole” than the famed elk antler arches. But beyond the picturesque backdrop of the arches, there’s much more to Jackson’s love affair with antlers. Enter Elkfest.
A yearly event, Elkfest is held each spring after the elk shed their antlers and begin migrating from the National Elk Refuge to their summer range. After the antlers have been shed, the local Boy Scouts head out to the Refuge to gather up the massive pieces to sell at their annual Elk Antler Auction on Town Square. An event hosted by the Boy Scouts since 1968, this auction was the starting point for Elkfest, which began in 2002. Elkfest is now a weekend of events, including live music, a Chili Cookoff, family activities and much more.
The weekend kicks off on Saturday with the event that started it all, where guests bid on antlers by the bundle and by the single unique rack. The antlers included in the auction are available for viewing at 7am and the auction begins at 10am. While the auction takes place, Rotary Club hosts a private antler sale on an adjacent street, where a plethora of antlers (think moose, deer, buffalo and elk) are available for purchase as well. While all the sales are going on, kids can take advantage of a wide range of interactive activities, music performances and demonstrations, all on Town Square.
After Saturday’s festivities, Elkfest caps off the weekend on Sunday at noon with a Chili Cookoff. Here you’ll see table after table of chili made by not only local professional chefs, but 20-something-year-old amateurs and even someone who may resemble your Great Aunt June, who’s been perfecting her recipe since long before you were even born. Grab a spoon upon entry, find yourself a nice refreshment from one of the vendors, meander around while you taste and vote on your favorites.
See why the Jackson antler arches are so much more than just a pretty photo backdrop at Elkfest, this weekend on Town Square. For more information on the events of Elkfest, click here.
Photo from Elkfest Facebook.