The Buffalo Bill Art Show Auction returns to the tent this year.

The Buffalo Bill Art Show and Sale and many other parts of the Rendezvous Royale week of events are still proceeding, but the recent rise in COVID cases has led organizers to make changes.

The Buffalo Bill Center of the West on Wednesday canceled the Patron’s Ball fundraiser that generally closes out the week and was a casualty of last year’s pandemic-effected events as well.

The lunch and lecture events have also been canceled after the speaker pulled out to due to COVID concerns.

Many other events are able to proceed in part due to their locations.

“We put up a 15,000 square foot tent and we’ve talked with public health about safety protocols,” said chamber executive director Tina Hoebelheinrich, one of those event organizers.

Under the tent will be the Friday night auction, although this year it will be limited to 300 people to allow for social distancing. She said they are expecting all 300 of those seats to be filled.

“It’s what we need to do to continue,” Hoebelheinrich said. “None of it is ideal, but its the 40th show, it’s one of the best in the country, and director Kathy Thompson really cares.”

Another signature event, Saturday morning’s Quick Draw, will take place mostly outside in the Robbie Powwow Gardens.

And because it takes place all through downtown and various businesses, the Thursday Art Walk is similarly unaffected.

It’s the second consecutive year Rendezvous Royale has been effected by the pandemic, although this year it will still able to continue much closer to normal, with the Friday auction and Saturday quick draw back in their normal locations.

And organizers point to a possible new bar in terms of the large number of top quality artists attending.

“Kathy said this is the best show we’ve ever had with the caliber of art on display,” Hoebelheinrich said. “We’re excited.”


Health protocols for Friday night live auction

• The event will be hosted in a roughly 15,000 square foot tent

• The attendees will be capped at 300 with approximately 50 additional volunteers

• There will be 75 tables available for seating

• Staff will be distributing N95 masks to all attendees and require volunteers to wear masks

• Staff will ask each attendee the health screening questions at registration and do temperature checks at the door with the threshold being 100.4

• Staff will put hand sanitizer on each table and at the buffet lines

• Staff requested that the caterer provide gloved servers for the buffet and will release tables to the buffet line to control the flow of the line

• Staff will have hand wash stations at each door and additional restrooms

• Signage to encourage social distancing

(1) comment

Dewey Vanderhoff

Now for the rest of the story . Coincidentally - or not - the Jackson Hole Arts Festival totally overlaps Cody's Rendezvous Royale this year on the calendar . Normally the two high dollar western art and craft fiestas are a week or more apart.

The Jackson art auction has grown so large it has to be spread it across two days and nights . This year ( Covid Year 2 ) it's the same date as Cody's truncated one night stand Friday Sept. 17 . Jackson has the art buyers all to themselves on Saturday.

The Western Design Conference that was born in Cody but left home under a cloud opened on Wed. September 9 at Jackson's Snow King , featuring over 100 artists and exhibitors and a fashion show from artisans that mostly used to attend Cody's show . The only sizable event cancelled in Jackson was the Taste of the Tetons food fete, which was indoors ( due to Covid restrictions) , but it was replaced by Taking It To The Streets ( largely unrestricted since it's outdoors ). The other forty or so individual events making up the Jackson Art Festival are still scheduled . Meanwhile , Cody's gowns and tuxedo Patrons Ball is a victim of A. cancel culture , or B. faux pas planning. Or both. I note for the record that Teton County's Covid vaccination rate of 74 percent is double Park County's embarrasingly low 37 percent ( September 7 data ).

Cody's Rendezvous Royale is withering on the vine this time around for a cascade of reasons. The Big Money cabal that buys premium western art and crafts cannot be in two places at the same time... maybe a couple passenger jets might come over the Great Divide to Cody from JH, but that's iffy. Given the two choices, where would the buyers prefer to be?

My question is who might be the genius(s) that scheduled Rendezvous Royale at the same time as Jackson's ? My opinion is the annual Cody art week is so rigid and narrow in its ossified organization , which precludes flexibility , it is incapable of adapting . Because " that's the way we've always done it " around here ?

Next year we should ....

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