September 23, 2010

Article | Ready to Rendezvous - Cody High Style

Calgary Stampede Rodeo princess Kirstie Rougeau (from left), queen Katie Rochan and princess Janelle Phillips rehearse Tuesday night for the Cody High Style Fashion Shows on Wednesday night in the BBHC foyer.

Ready to ‘Rendezvous’

With national reports declaring an end to the recession - and on the heels of a busy summer season - Rendezvous Royale week is bursting at the seams this week.

The three premier events are sold out, or close to being at capacity.

The 29th annual Buffalo Bill Art Show & Sale has sold 650 tickets and had to cut off requests last week.

The auction begins at 6:30 p.m. Friday in the party tent outside the Buffalo Bill Historical Center.

"I'm excited to say we are sold out - we have 65 tables with 10 seats all full," director Kathy Thompson said. "We could have added more but had to give the caterer the food order last week.

"We're still getting calls and we're really excited," she added. "We have many new buyers because the show is getting better every year."

Thompson said the show has many loyal artists who love coming to Cody and 12 artists are new to this year's show.

She said the show is growing with many new patrons because the quality of the art continues to improve.

Another aspect of the show's success is the amount of work volunteers do during the weeks leading up to the event.

"Our volunteers contribute an unbelievable amount of hours," Thompson said. "The whole town really gets behind Royale week.

"It's also about Cody's Western hospitality - it draws people from around the world," she added. "And people hear about it from someone else who has been here."

Honored co-chairs Anne Young and Jim Nielson will be feted during the art show.

Thompson said one of the art show judges told her they don't know of another show of this size and quality done in such a small community.

This year's live auction will feature 112 pieces of art to be sold, including the main piece by Honored Artist Donna Howell-Sickles of Texas.

There are also 62 items in the silent auction. Forty-two artists will participate in the Quick Draw at 9 a.m. Sunday in the Robbie Powwow Garden.

"We sell more tickets for the Quick Draw than we do for the auction," Thompson said. "It's more affordable and people love watching the work being created."

Thompson says there are 25 events revolving around the Royale and it's a tremendous boost to the Cody economy.

"Economically, this is the single biggest week of the year in town," she said. "And we try and use as many local vendors as we can.

"We also try and give back by hosting children's art classes through the Park County Arts Council," she added.

The 34th annual Patrons Ball also is sold out. The black-tie event begins at 6:30 p.m. at the BBHC.

Committee member Paul Brock and Public Relations director Lee Haines said there were 550 tickets sold.

"We had to put a cap on it and stop the sales," Brock said. "We've had a great response and it's exceeded our expectations. We're tremendously pleased and excited about the ball."

The silent auction this year includes a wild mustang from the McCullough Peaks herd, art work, furniture and jewelry.

There is also a chance drawing in which people buy a box of chocolates.

If the box contains a golden ticket, the person's name is entered in a drawing to win a pair of diamond earrings.

"One of the silent auction items is a night in the museum," Haines said. "The winner will have dinner and spend the night and have a special program with one of the curators."

The fifth annual Cody High Style Fashion Show is close to being sold out.

Organizer Jill Osiecki Gleich said a few tickets remain for the two shows Wednesday. Performances are at 5:30 p.m. and 7:30 p.m. in the BBHC foyer.

"Things are going really well and we'll be at capacity, which is 400 per show," Osiecki Gleich said. "We have a great crowd that's a mixture of locals and out of towners from New York, New Jersey and California."

She said those out of town visitors include the 20 people signed up to see cabins in Meeteetse.

The fashion show will feature the designs of 18 fashion designers. Returners include Angela DeMontigny and Montana Dreamwear.

Newcomer Mildred Carpenter and her MILDJ Fashion will travel from Lodge Grass, Mont.

"I'm really excited to see her designs," Osiecki Gleich said. "This is exciting because we've had so many inquiries about her."

(Richard Reeder can be reached at