The 56th Annual Gem, Mineral, Fossil, Jewelry, & Lapidary Arts Show of the Ventura Gem & Mineral Society (VGMS) takes place March 3-4 (10AM—5PM, Saturday; 10AM—4PM, Sunday) at Ventura County Fairgrounds (10 W. Harbor Blvd., Ventura, CA). The show is open to the public, and admission is free. (Note: the Fairgrounds charges a parking fee if using the Fairgrounds lot; this fee does not go toward the VGMS Show nor its nonprofit endeavors.)
With a focus on kids and education, on lapidary arts and jewelry-making, and on California rocks and fossils, the Ventura Gem Show has been a fun family event for 56 years. During our pre-show dinner on Friday, March 2, we will present a $1,000 Scholarship Award to geology student Tobias Minehan of Santa Barbara City College. The next day on entering the show, kids will be given a free polished stone at our Welcome Booth, where we will have free rock samples and educational packets for teachers with teacher ID cards. At the Kids Booth, children will enjoy a “Spinning Wheel” with rock prizes, grab bags of rocks, and activities that offer an assortment of prizes. Overlooking the Kids Booth will be a skull cast of “Auggie”, the newly designated official California State Dinosaur, along with information about the society’s two-room museum in Ojai, where teachers, home-schoolers, and Scouts can arrange tours by appointment. New this year, the show will have a gold panning station teaching techniques used by the California 49ers for participants to find their own flecks of gold!
This free show will feature 60 displays of gems, minerals, fossils, and award-winning handcrafted jewelry. Among these will be educational exhibits of fossils collected locally in and around Ventura County, as well as a display of our State Rock, Mineral, Fossil, and Gemstone (including a gold nugget and Ice Age saber-tooth cat). Still other displays will show how stones collected locally have been crafted into jewelry. Demonstrations throughout the show will give visitors up-close looks at artists pursuing their skills, including gemstone cutting/polishing, silver work and jewelry making, beading, glass bead forging, sphere-making, precious metal clay work, and other arts. Raffle prizes include fine jewelry, a crisp $100 bill, mineral and fossil specimens, and more. Also part of the festivities are hourly silent auctions for rocks, minerals, and fossils, as well as a white elephant sale, plant sale, and over 15 dealers selling beads, American opals, jade, gemstones, crystals, fossils, jewelry and jewelry-making supplies, and gift items. It’s a 56-year Ventura tradition the whole family can enjoy!
VGMS was founded in 1944 to encourage interest in rocks, minerals, fossils, jewelry-making, and related areas through education, activities, and exhibitions such as this annual show, which is open to the community. The society is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit, educational organization and welcomes individual and family members. VGMS hosts monthly lectures on earth science topics and lapidary arts, makes presentations to area schools, and conducts field trips for members and guests that often involve collecting rocks, minerals, and fossils in southern California and neighboring states.
The show is the society’s major fund-raising event helping to underwrite educational activities, including their annual college scholarship. For further details, call VGMS President Diane Cook (805-312-8467), email us at [email protected], or visit our web site at www.vgms.org.
The Ventura Gem & Mineral Society, Inc., is a nonprofit educational organization; Federal Nonprofit Tax ID Number 95-6056075.