The Parksville Rock and Gem Show takes place this year on Oct. 5-6 at the Parksville Community and Conference Centre.
The show will feature of variety of vendors selling all kinds of rock and gem related items, including raw stone as well as finished products like jewellery, coasters, small sculptures and more.
“If you’re a doer and you like to collect rocks and do something with them yourself there’s stuff, and if you like to get the finished product there’s lots, too,” said Parksville & District Rock and Gem club president Judy Mitchell.
There will also be a variety of interactive and educational displays for the curious amateur geologist.
“We present a lot of educational things, and participatory things,’ said Mitchell.
Some of those activities include a flint-knapping demonstration, an interactive display of British Columbia’s geology and a Genie, a machine that shapes and grinds rocks.
There will also be a variety of activities for little ones to enjoy.
“We have a kids’ corner where the kids can participate, make things to take home, and learn a little bit about rocks. All of that’s going to be in the foyer as you come in, so you get to see all the fun stuff, then you go into the main hall,” said show chairwoman Doreen Patterson.
The Parksville & District Rock and Gem Club was originally started in the 1960s, and was revived by Claude Levesque and a friend in the 1990s.
The club is a member of the British Columbia Lapidary Society. They meet on the first Tuesday of every month at the McMillian Arts Centre.
Since the club is part of the BCLS, membership in Parksville means that you’re in with rock hounds across the province.
“As a member of the BCLS, we’re all one club. We’re sort of like a branch of the Legion, we’re a branch of BCLS,” said longtime club member Linda Levesque.
“If you’re travelling in B.C., and want to explore something related to geology, to rock hounding, you just contact the people from the area… we try to be one big happy family.”
Members get all kinds of kicks out of participation.
They help each other identify stones, invite guest speakers to meetings, have social time and go on a field trip once a month. Sometimes field trips involve hunting for rocks on Vancouver Island.
Some are fascinated by the geology, and others are motivated by the beauty of the natural objects.
“Love the look of rock, love the feel of rock, love finding new things — shiny things, like magpies,” said Patterson with a laugh.
Members of the club can also shape their own creations.
“We have a fully outfitted lapidary shop where people can grind and polish and cut rocks and make their own treasures,” Linda Levesque.
The show takes place on Oct. 5 and Oct. 6 from 9:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. (4 p.m. on Sunday). There is a concession that will serve breakfast and lunch on both days.
Admission to the show is $3 per person, and children under 12 can enter free with an adult.
All proceeds from the show go back into the club.