Monday, October 26, 2009

Rockhound on the Road - Sedona Show

Vendor list

From Sedona Pines

Karen and copper

Name the mineral?

Kid's corner

Vendor name tag

Outside show

Raffle announcing

Around the show

Rockhounds on the Road

by Karen Murphy & Tim O’Donnell (club members & newsletter co-editors)

Imagine our sheer pleasure that the Sedona Rock and Mineral Club had its 10th annual show while we were visiting Sedona! We’re reasonably certain they didn’t hold the show on purpose for our visit, but we felt honored nevertheless. Held at the Sedona Red Rock High School Cafeteria on Saturday October 17th and Sunday October 18th, the show provided enough parking for all visitors. In addition to free admission, there was something for everyone, speakers, kids' crafts, meteorite and other displays, raffles, mineral identification, sphere making and other demonstrations, rocks, gemstones, minerals, fossils, beads, jewelry.

Our first impressions were the size of the show, the layout, and the tables and carpeting. The 40 vendors displayed their wares inside the cafeteria and outside under the clear sky. The layout was interesting - something we might want to institute if we’re in the new civic center next year. The layout was sort of a patchwork quilt, with square tables and round tables, almost no long lines of rows, and ample light. People were able to zig-zag around from table to table. All of the tables were covered with blue table covers. The entire indoor part of the show was carpeted, which didn’t seem to hamper the sales. Think back-when you ate in the school cafeteria, was it carpeted? Many of the vendors had rented multiple tables. The outdoor part of the show was on cement walks, some with shades. Every vendor and assistant had a name tag displayed, and in back of the name tag was a card with cell phone information of the show chair.

What did the vendors offer? Lots of jewelry! Beads, equipment, fossils, slabs, and polished specimens all abounded. Very few large rough specimens were available. Children enjoyed the free Kids’ Crafts booths, making their own beaded jewelry. One adolescent entertained her instructor with stories and jokes throughout the procedure. Did we say that there was lots of jewelry?

The Speaker sessions were a first this year. We went to a fascinating session on meteorites by Club member Dr. Carleton Moore from Arizona State University. The Club also paid for a paleobotanist, Mr. Walt Wright, to visit from southern California. He showed numerous examples of petrified wood and shared information about discriminating between coniferous and deciduous wood. He had also made a presentation at the club’s October meeting.

The hourly raffle tickets cost $1 per ticket or $5 for 7 tickets. I won the first raffle that I entered. All of the hourly raffle tickets were put back into the bucket for the drawing at the end of the show for the three grand prizes. We’re glad we didn’t win the alligator head! Maybe we just haven’t been notified of the other grand prize yet.

The annual show is their big fund raiser. The club awards $1,000 scholarships to two high school students each year. Apparently the publicity paid off. One vendor described a show for which he had been publicity manager. He sent between 20 and 30 flyers with the contract to each vendor, asking the vendors to distribute flyers at shows they went to. Some did, some didn’t.

The temperature reached a high of 87 degrees both days, and the clear sky was as awesome as our own skies. The difference is the red rocks of Sedona. Sedona is beautiful but very commercial. We prefer our little side of the world better, but when you need to get away, this area is first-rate.

This was clearly a very successful and fun show, and the 150-member Sedona Gem and Mineral Club worked hard to insure its success. See for club information and past issues of the newsletter.

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