TROY — Miami County’s 35th annual “Rock and Gem Show” kicked off on Saturday in the Duke Lungard Building at the Miami County Fairgrounds.
The two-day event, which continues today, is sponsored by the Miami County Gem and Mineral Club. Tickets at the door are $2 per person, with free admittance to children.
Once inside, attendants can survey countless rocks, gems, fossils, specimens, jewelry, and supplies presented by 18 vendors and four demonstrators.
Each child in attendance receives a free rock, and is encouraged to participate in one of several activities, which include ‘wheel of fortune,’ grab bags, mystery rock games, and a sluice for panning your own rocks.
Food is available for purchase, and mineral identification is available by club members and a consultant from the Ohio Geological Society.
“Every year, there’s more and more advertising,” said chairperson Mary Manning. “With social media, it makes things easier for everyone involved. That is helped to increase attendance.”
The event will also double as a presentation for the distribution of a $500 scholarship, given by the Miami County Gem and Mineral Club to one local student.
“One of our goals is to promote education in the field of geology and paleontology,” Manning said. “We started a scholarship last year, and we’ve called it a STEM scholarship, so it’s good for any sciences or technology. This year, we got five applications.”
This year’s scholarship is going to Garrett Gatrell of Bethel High School. Garrett plans to pursue a career in Earth Science, with a focus on geology, paleontology, or archeology. The scholarship will be awarded today at 1 p.m.
“Garrett was the only one of the five applicants that actually put ‘geology’ as his major for college,” Manning said. “That was great for us, because you don’t see that very often anymore.”
The event will continue today at the fairgrounds through 4 p.m., and Manning encourages people of all ages to attend.
“It’s a great event for families,” Manning said. “There’s something here for everyone.”
The Miami County Gem and Mineral Club in a non-profit club founded in 1976, comprised of amateur geologists and mineralogists. The club meets on the first Wednesday of every month at the Troy-Hayner Cultural Center.
For more information, visit www.mcgamc.org.