The Green River Rendezvous, Pinedale, WY
Page Summary: Join us the second weekend in July (July 11-14, 2013) for events that celebrate the original Green River Rendezvous.
Pinedale, Wyoming lies in the heart of the country that in the early 1800s was the hub of the Rocky Mountain fur trade, which supplied lustrous beaver pelts for the fashion industries of Europe and the eastern United States. Mountain men like Jim Bridger, Kit Carson, Thomas Fitzpatrick and William Sublette carved their legends here, and opened the way for settlement of the West. The mountain men's summer Rendezvous emerged as an annual event in which trappers, travelers and Indians all gathered to barter, sell and gamble away the pelts and skins they'd gathered through the winter in hard, dangerous labor. Guns, jewelry, supplies and other trade goods were also swapped. These original Rendezvous were the best opportunity to lay in supplies for the coming winter, renew acquaintances, tell tall tales, drink, laugh and start trouble.
Sixteen Rendezvous were held during the years 1824-1840, the height of the Rocky Mountain Fur Trade when the beaver top hat was an essential part of every respectable urban man's wardrobe. Of those 16 gatherings, six were located in the Green River Valley, eight miles west of Pinedale, Wyoming, near the spot where the town of Daniel now stands.
Today, the heritage of the mountain man remains close to the surface in the Upper Green. Green River Rendezvous Days, held on the second weekend each July, is Pinedale's most popular event (view the 2013 Rendezvoud Events Calendar) and draws deeply from the talents of numerous area volunteers. The Rendezvous Pageant, a reenactment of Rendezvous history, has been a Pinedale area tradition since 1936, when citizens organized to commemorate the grand Green River Rendezvous of the 1830s. These first reenactments took place near the original Rendezvous location on Horse Creek at its confluence with the Green River. Due to the Pageant's growing popularity, it moved in 1960 to a special area behind the Pinedale Rodeo Grounds, with bleachers for spectators and plenty of parking. It has been performed there annually ever since. Dedicated locals create period costumes, play the roles of historic characters, manage the horses and livestock that appear in the Pageant, and help keep the production running smoothly in all its aspects.
From Thursday through Sunday (July 11-14, 2013), Pinedale comes alive with activities and events inspired by the Mountain Man theme. The bearded, buckskinned heroes of long ago gallop down Pine Street, holler, fight, boast, and share the liquor as they relive the celebrated events of the fur trade that once flourished in this historic region. Representatives of coming civilization are also on the scene: Eliza Spaulding and Narcissa Whitman, first pioneer women to travel over South Pass, stroll in gingham once again. The taming influence of Father DeSmet enhances the morning calm as he preaches the first sermon on the prairie, reenacted near Daniel and the original Rendezvous site.
The Museum of the Mountain Man, located in Pinedale, details the historical significance of the Western Fur Trade, and provides insight into the romantic era of the Mountain Man. The Museum hosts entertaining and educational Rendezvous events for all ages, including free living history demonstrations of trapper and Plains Indian lifeways, field trips, and lots of children's activities. A buffalo feast fundraiser is also offered.
Many organizations host special events during Rendezvous Days, packing the weekend with fun, leisure activities and food. Some activities are fundraisers; many others are free or involve a nominal fee. Warm up with a pancake breakfast, burn it off at the Rendezvous Ramble walk/run, enjoy the spectacle of the Chamber of Commerce Rendezvous Parade down Pine Street, and catch the pie sale at the Episcopal Church. Don't forget the Lions Club barbecue, the Artists' Quick Draw/Art Auction, and the open golf tournament and play-day fundraiser at Rendezvous Meadows Golf Course!
Download the 2013 Green River Rendezvous Days schedule of events (pdf).
If you plan to visit Sublette County during Rendezvous Days, make lodging plans well in advance. Many events take place outdoors, so bring a hat and water bottle, sunblock, good walking shoes and plenty of mountain man spirit!
For more information visit MeetMeOnTheGreen.com.