An event millions of years in the making is coming to Montgomery this weekend, with a special emphasis on the last half century.
The 50th annual Montgomery Gem, Mineral and Jewelry Show is Friday, Saturday and Sunday at Garrett Coliseum, 1555 Federal Drive. This year’s event also features a first-time open car show.
“‘We had a record turnout last year,” said Chris Rutherford, a geologist and president of the Montgomery Gem and Mineral Society. “And even with COVID this year, we expect to have even more come out this year to celebrate our 50th anniversary.”
The show features several dealers spread out on the coliseum’s floor with a variety of beads, crystals, fossils, geodes, gem stones, minerals, rocks and much more.
“Lots of colored stones. Lots of unique opals,” Rutherford said.
Access to the whole family friendly event is inexpensive. Daily admission is $2 per adult, and comes with a door prize ticket. Ages 18 and under are admitted free with a student ID or one paid adult ticket. A three-day adult pass to the show is $3. The club also has a $1 off coupon online for daily visitors.
Club members will display their individual collections, and demonstrations will be offered throughout the weekend on gem and rock cutting, faceting and cabochon making. Guests can have jewelry repaired, and new jewelry pieces created for them.
A special treat with a surprise inside is the geode, a spherical rock with an internal cavity that’s often filled with crystals.
“We’ll have a guy there that will sell geodes,” Rutherford said “You crack them open and see the crystals inside.”
An artist will be there doing a demonstration with the famous Sylacauga white marble.
Rutherford said the Montgomery Gem and Mineral Society is a club of rock hounds, enthusiasts, jewelry makers.
“People have been doing this their whole lives, and they just enjoy sharing their talents and sharing their art,” Rutherford said.
Friday and Saturday hours are from 9 a.m.-6 p.m., and Sunday from 11 a.m.-4 p.m.
Parking is free.
Learn more about the club online at montgomerygemandmineralsociety.com.
Open Car Show
On Saturday from 9 a.m.-2 p.m., the club will have its first open car show in Garrett Coliseum’s parking lot, with about 300 scheduled to participate. Rutherford said there will be a mix of classic and new cars, as well as military vehicles. He said some of the gem club members are also car enthusiasts.
Proceeds from the car show benefit the Montgomery Area Food Bank, and guests are encouraged to bring nonperishable food items to donate.
“We’re really trying to expand the show and make it grow out. Make it bigger,” Rutherford said.
Regular security and virus restriction rules remain in place at Garrett Coliseum.
All guests must wear masks and practice social distancing. Hand sanitizer will be available.
All carry bags brought into Garrett must be made of transparent materials.
Contact Montgomery Advertiser reporter Shannon Heupel at [email protected]
This article originally appeared on Montgomery Advertiser: Rock on: 50th annual Montgomery Gem, Mineral and Jewelry Show at Garrett Coliseum this weekend