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4,000 expected attend 27th Annual Gem and Mineral Show
SILVER CITY - The upcoming Labor Day weekend in Silver City is going to rock - literally.
Organizers of the 27th Annual Gem and Mineral Show, which will run from Saturday to Monday, say they expect the event to bring 4,000 to 5,000 people into town throughout the course of the three days.
An informal survey of area hotels, including the Holiday Inn Express, the Comfort Inn and the Econo Lodge, show that rooms will be scarce in Silver City.
Marcia Andre, the show chairwoman for the Grant County Rolling Stones Gem and Mineral Society, which is sponsoring the event, said Wednesday that the group is excited about holding the show in a new venue - the Grant County Business and convention center on Highway 180, next to Ace Hardware.
"We've always been at the Rec Center and while saying good-bye to the Rec Center was hard - the staff always was very good to us - the new venue gives us more room and room to grow," Andre said.
The show, which offers free admission, will be open 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Saturday and Sunday and 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Monday. Vendors from throughout the Southwest will fill 115 tables with rocks and minerals and related equipment for sale.
Karen Murphy, publicity chairwoman for the event, said vendors expected to attend include regulars who have been at previous shows as well as some new vendors.
"People will be able to find all kinds of things at the show," Murphy said.
While the Convention Center allows the event room to grow, Andre said the group still has "a long waiting list" of vendors who would like to participate.
New this year, Andre said, is the NMSU Zuhl Collection of petrified wood, which will be an educational display. Andre said a museum curator for the Zuhl Collection will be on hand for the weekend.
There also will be exhibits provided by locals as well as New Mexico Tech's Mining and Mineral Museum. The Silver City Lions Club will provide food. Daily field trips, a silent auction and the ever-popular Wheel of Fortune also will be featured.
Andre said the Grant County Rolling Stones Gem and Mineral Society took on a different approach in promoting the show by teaming up with Silver City MainStreet, which is having its First Friday in the downtown area on Friday, and the 18th Annual San Vicente Art Fair, which also is downtown on Saturday and Sunday. The three entities bought advertising in combination to try to promote Silver City and not just a single event.
Recently, the Silver City Town Council and the mayor have expressed concern regarding the spending of lodgers tax funds in wanting greater accountability and, ultimately, a marketing plan in place for the area.
"We hope this shows the mayor and the city council that we are trying to do what they are looking for," Andre said. "We're trying to promote Silver City as a whole."
Terrance Vestal can be reached at (575) 538-5893, ext. 5803.
If you go
•What: The 27th Annual Gem and Mineral Show
•Where: Grant County Business and Convention Center on Highway 180
•When: 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Saturday and Sunday and 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Monday