As far as the number of festival goes, Jackson Hole isn’t quite on par with Telluride—home to the (in)famous Nothing Festival, founded by locals fed up with the town’s non-stop festivals. But we’re not far off. It does seem there’s some festival or other going on most weekends. Most weeks even. The Jackson Hole Wildlife Film Festival. The Jackson Hole Mountain Festival. The Jackson Hole Mountain Man Rendezvous. Better than the variety of our festivals though is that locals (mostly) love them. (Living a couple of blocks form the Town Square, sometimes the Fall Arts Festival traffic can get trying.) This is because most festivals here don’t exist merely to celebrate a season’s pretty scenery. Although of course that is encouraged, in between learning or experiencing something new and relevant to our community. “The goal of SHIFT JH is to inspire people to make a real difference,” says founder Christian Beckwith.
This Columbus Day weekend enviro-eco-food summit includes break-out sessions of hiking and rock climbing and advisors from Yvon Chouinard (Patagonia) to James Wolfensohn (World Bank). The goal? To gather the most determined and passionate people from the continent’s most beautiful places so that they can help each other’s communities. And also have fun.
Fall Arts Festival
Whether you’re a serious art collector or not, the FAF (in mid-September) is a great time to be in the valley. There’s the expected gallery walks and openings and the JH Art Auction, but there are also food events, demonstrations, and a QuickDraw that challenges artists to complete a piece in 90 minutes!
Grand Targhee Bluegrass Festival
Started in 1987, the three-day Grand Targhee Bluegrass Festival is as laid-back as ever—stages are outside at the decidedly un-fancy Grand Targhee Ski & Summer Resort—with the exception of its line up, which today includes the best bluegrass musicians in the country.
Grand Teton Music Festival
"One of the world's great orchestras is hidden in a small town in Wyoming." Zubin Mehta, the former music director of the New York Philharmonic, was referring to the Grand Teton Music Festival, which brings the finest guest conductors and soloists from around the world together for a seven-week summer season between early July and late August.
Jackson Hole Writers Conference
Founded in 1991, the four-day Jackson Hole Writers Conference at the end of June brings together writers from across the country, NY and LA-based editors and agents, and bestselling authors—Janet Fitch, Karen Joy Fowler, Craig Johnson—to meet, mingle, and share manuscripts.