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ElkFest and Old West Days celebrations about a month away

May in Jackson Hole brings out the wildflowers, hibernating wildlife – and Wild West festivities with the popular ElkFest and Old West Days events. An appreciation of nature, outdoor skills and ecological education, ElkFest takes place May 21 – 22, 2016. The following weekend Old West Days, May 26 – 30, kicks off with a public event Thursday evening at the Wort Hotel to commemorate the historic hotel’s 75th anniversary. Old West Days activities continue through Memorial Day, featuring costumed cowboys, mountain men, a brew fest and more. Both ElkFest and Old West Days take place in Jackson, Wyo., where the town’s famous “the Last of the Old West” reputation is played out in locations from Town Square to the fairgrounds. Wagonloads of antlers line the streets of Jackson, attracting buyers from all over the world, for ElkFest’s annual Boy Scout Antler Auction on May 21. Now in its 49th year, the auction typically features more than 10,000 pounds of the naturally shed elk antlers gathered by local Boy Scouts. The majority of auction proceeds go back to the National Elk Refuge on the outskirts of town, which devotes approximately 25,000 acres to the preservation of winter range for elk and bison herds. Sunday, May 22, the High Noon Chili Cook-Off returns to Jackson Town Square, offering a chance to sample the goods from local chefs and organizations vying for the public’s “Best of the West” vote. Also during ElkFest weekend, and continuing through the end of Old West Days on May 30, the Mountain Man Rendezvous and Traders Row at the Teton Fairgrounds includes bow-and-arrow and hawk-and-knife competitions among the costumed mountain men as well as refreshments and the chance to purchase handcrafted goods. New this year, the public party at The Wort Hotel opens Old West Days on Thursday, May 26, with a celebration of the hotel’s 75 years in Jackson. Built in 1941, The Wort was Jackson Hole’s first hotel and remains a landmark favorite among visitors and locals. The event takes place from 5-7 p.m. in the Silver Dollar Showroom. On Friday, May 27, Old West Days’ Jackson Western heritage activities continue at the Bar J Chuckwagon at 7 p.m., serving up an authentic Western-style dinner and world-class cowboy entertainment. Saturday morning, May 28, the 35th annual Old West Days Parade starts from Town Square at 10 a.m., followed by family-friendly activities such as kids’ crafts and live Western music. *photo h/t shutterstock* [image: shutterstock_23931715.jpg] #buckrail #news