Gem and mineral show ready to rock

Andrew Wagstaff
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Annual event to feature walks to dinosaur dig site

Cynthia Ryan of Ottawa's Kulu Trading puts together one of their many displays as part of the Nova Scotia Gem and Mineral Show, which runs at the Lions Arena in Parrsboro from Friday to Sunday, Aug. 16-18.

PARRSBORO – The booths are up and the schedule is set. The 48th annual Nova Scotia Gem and Mineral show starts today.

Event co-ordinator Karen Dickinson was at the Lions Arena today, overseeing preparations for this year’s show, which she said would make for another busy weekend in Parrsboro.

“It’s coming along well, and things seem to be falling into place,” said Dickinson, among the bustle of activity. “We had a couple of cancellations Wednesday, but then again we had the phones ringing from others asking if there was space. You can’t control it.”

Gem and mineral dealers from around the country converge on Parrsboro for the weekend, which has been drawing rockhounds to the area since 1965. Upwards of 3,000 people are expected to this year’s show.

The event is sponsored by Fundy Geological Museum, which this year has had to hold the show despite a $20,000 cut in funding from the provincial government.

“It’s an exciting time for us, with a lot of planning and preparation, and it’s really rough on the staff, who have to bend over backwards to make sure everything goes on here, manage the programs at the museum, and try not to lose their minds,” said Dickinson.

This busy period for staff has been compounded by the current dinosaur dig in operation at Wasson Bluff, which has drawn full tours from the museum every day. These tours will continue as part of the show weekend.

“The gem show is normally just one tour a day, but there will be two per day this year,” explained Pat Welton, co-ordinator of public programs at the museum. “It’s the first year we’ve had two walks coincide, and we’re excited about that.”

Museum curator Ken Adams will lead walks to Wasson Bluff on Friday, Saturday and Sunday. Other beach walks will see John Calder at West Bay at 2 p.m. on Friday, and Howard Donohoe at Five Islands Provincial Park at 1 p.m. on Saturday. All walks depart from the museum.

Demonstrations will not be held at scheduled show times this year, but it will rather be up to individual dealers to co-ordinate their own.

Organizers said they were pleased to see more local participation this year. For the first time, the Parrsboro and District Board of Trade will have its own table set up at the event. Dickinson said she hopes this is a sign of more co-operation to come from the local business community.

Twitter: @ADNandrew

Organizations: Fundy Geological Museum, Parrsboro and District Board of Trade

Geographic location: PARRSBORO, West Bay

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