The Ball is back! Riot Act to host legendary 49er

JACKSON HOLE, WYO – The ‘49er Ball is back!

One of Jackson’s longest traditions is returning after a brief hiatus. The 49er Ball is back this February under new direction. Riot Act Inc. announced it will take over the longstanding winter dance that dates back to 1896.

Riot Act will infuse a theatrical flair to the community party taking place Saturday, February 16 at the Virginian.

“A Jackson Hole staple since 1896. Live out the past in costume, find an excuse to dance like it’s 1849, gamble away the suspenders off your back, and watch theatrical characters play out their worst sins,” organizers at Riot Act stated.

Activities will include dance lessons, a live band, silent auction, gambling for donations, a cash bar, all the vitals you can eat, and more!

And, of course, every good pioneer settler is asked to vote for their favorite 49er Ball Royalty.

  • Angel May “The Mistress” Wise
  • Annessa “The Muscle” Melnick
  • Alex “Jose Joe” Perez
  • Jeff “Joy Juice” Russell
  • Max “The Kid” Martin
  • Patty “The Madam” Krause
49er Royalty Contestants (Riot Act Inc)


The claim to the dance dating back to 1896 would certainly make it Jackson’s oldest party. Period. While it was not likely referred to as the 49er Ball, it is conceivable an organized dance of some kind took place in Jackson beginning in 1896 when the ‘Clubhouse’ was first constructed.

Several groups took over the official 49er Ball through the years, most recently the Lions Club beginning in 1992. But like many service clubs, the Lions found it more and more difficult to pull off the event with dwindling membership. In 2018, for the first year any could recall, the event never came off.

With the Lions Club’s blessing, Riot Act has taken over hosting the event. Every 49er Ball begins with a voting period where a King and Queen of the Ball is named.

Visit the website and pick your favorite contestant(s) by voting for them. It costs $1 per vote. You may vote as many times as you like.

Tickets are $20 in advance online or $25 at the door. Doors open at 6:30. Buying your ticket to support a royalty contestant?  Please chose your tickets under that person’s name when you purchase your tickets.

You May Also Like
Arts & Entertainment
Riot Act hosts auditions for next production
Arts & Entertainment
Award-winning play “Fool for Love” opens at new creative project space
Arts & Entertainment
Riot Act takes over 49er Ball, royalty vote is on
Arts & Entertainment
Riot Act casting for ‘The Normal Heart’ next week
Arts & Entertainment
Riot Act revs up for season
Arts & Entertainment
Riot Act picks three shorts to award, perform