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