Jackson Hole Celebrates Elk, Antlers, Chili and Community

(Jackson, Wyo.) - This weekend, wagonloads of elk antlers will fill the streets of downtown Jackson and hoards of people will come to bid on those sheds. ElkFest is the kick off a summer full of festivities in Jackson Hole. For the event, people will travel from all over the world to purchase the elk antlers collected by the local Boy Scouts on the National Elk Refuge. The auction typically features more than 10,000 pounds of naturally shed elk antlers. According to Jackson Hole Chamber of Commerce Special Events Director Maureen Murphy, the Boy Scout Elk Antler Auction started 39 years ago and this is the 12th year of the official ElkFest celebration. Last year, the Boy Scouts raised more than $200,000 through the Elk Antler Auction and they expect even more this year, due to the rising price of antlers. ElkFest will also feature educational and activity booths for kids, as well as private vendor booths. "This weekend has definitely become the kickoff to our summer season," said Murphy. "We tried to bring back a little of the unique culture that we have here." 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. On Saturday, May 21, the preview of the lots begins at 7 a.m., kids activity booths open at 9 a.m. and the antler auction kicks off at 10 a.m. 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. Get the full ElkFest schedule here. *Feature Photo: h/t Jackson Hole Chamber of Commerce / Pitchengine Communities* #buckrail #news #whatshappening