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Annual Fort Buenaventura Rendezvous opens this Friday

By Ryan Aston - | May 23, 2024

BENJAMIN ZACK, Standard-Examiner file photo

Brothers Kirk, left, and Grant Davis, right, pose for a portrait at the Fort Buenaventura Rendezvous in Ogden on Saturday, March 26, 2016.

OGDEN — A longtime tradition for area traders, trappers, outdoors enthusiasts and history buffs will return Memorial Day weekend.

The 38th annual Fort Buenaventura Rendezvous will kick off at 9 a.m. Friday, with an opening ceremony slated for 1 p.m. that same day. The event — which is co-sponsored by the Fort Buenaventura Mountain Men and the Weber County Parks & Recreation Department — will run each day thereafter through Memorial Day on Monday.

Collin Frandsen is serving as the rendezvous’ “booshway,” a term denoting the leader of a fur trapping company in the 1800s. He told the Standard-Examiner that last year’s event saw an average of 3,000-4,000 visitors per day, and similar attendance is expected this weekend.

“This is actually one of the biggest rendezvous out here in the Western area,” Frandsen said.

Vendors are coming from all over the region; Frandsen says there will be close to 80 at this year’s rendezvous. All trade goods are required to be from the pre-1840 period, and traders also will be wearing period-appropriate clothing.

Meanwhile, there will be demonstrations, activities and competitions for visitors young and old alike. That includes rifle and archery shoots, lance/knife/axe throws, a frying pan toss, children’s games, canoe races, mountain man/kids runs, a raffle and much more.

Frandsen noted that there would be a fur trade cabin, a saddle shop and a trading post where visitors can learn about some of the history and various aspects of mountain man life.

“People can actually go into these cabins and see what life was like and what these people had,” he said.

Traditionally, the rendezvous has been held during Easter time. However, recent weather patterns and last year’s flooding at Fort Buenaventura prompted a calendar shift.

“We have a primitive area and there are several wooden structures and cabins on there and those were actually flooded with about 2 feet of water,” Frandsen said.

Where first-time attendees are concerned, Frandsen offered the following advice: Wear a hat for the sun and ask questions.

“You’ll meet a lot of people that are dressed up like they used to be back in the day. And you’ll think, ‘Holy cow, these people are weird looking.’ But everyone is really super nice and they’re really open to answering questions,” he said.

For more information, go to https://fortbuenaventuramountainmen.org.


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