Rocks, gems, vendors galore

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Two gem and mineral shows are returning to the area again this year.

The older of the two is the 14th annual Lake George Gem & Mineral Show, which takes place from 9 a.m.-5 p.m. daily Aug. 19-21, and is sponsored by the Lake George Gem & Mineral Club.

“We had our first show before there was a club,” said show chairperson John Rakowski. The club now uses proceeds from the show to fund college scholarships and its Pebble Pups youth programs and to sponsor a Florissant Fossil Beds National Monument intern.

“We’ll have a canopy set up at the show entrance with information about the club and free mineral specimens for kids,” Rakowski added. “We like to catch kids with geology early.”

The show is located between the Lake George Post Office and the General Store, with some of the dealers arriving as early as Aug. 16.

“Overhead is low so our dealers can offer low prices,” he said. “Dealers will have fossils, mineral specimens, lapidary supplies and equipment, jewelry and beads.”

Admission and parking are free and there is still room for late vendors to join the fun, Rakowski said.

An added draw on Aug. 20 is the Lake George Extravaganza Tractor Pull on the lot across U.S. 24 from the show.

For more information about the annual show and the club, visit www.lggmclub.org.

The other show that weekend, spanning Aug. 18-21, is the second annual Rock Gypsies Woodland Park Gem, Mineral & Jewelry Show at the Woodland Park Saddle Club Arena, 19250 E. U.S. 24. The Rock Gypsies are Bodie Packham and his wife Kim.

As the name implies, the Packhams have been traveling like Gypsies on the rock-show circuit for almost 10 years. The annual event in Woodland Park is the first show they have organized.

“We wanted another place for vendors to come after the shows in Creede and Buena Vista,” Packham said. “The Lake George show was limited to only about 30 vendors and if they couldn’t get in there they would just go home. Our show is like the third pearl on the string of pearls.”

Last year’s show was popular enough that the Packhams had to increase the parking space this time around.

“The Saddle Club has just been phenomenal working with us,” Packham added. “And I can’t say enough about the help we’ve gotten from the city.”

This show also has free admission and parking. Dealers will offer a wide variety of rocks and minerals, as well as jewelry and beads and findings for jewelry makers. In addition, there will also be gold panning for children and Calvin Webb, a long-time collector/geologist, will be on hand to identify mineral specimens for visitors.

“We try to make the show as varied as possible so that there will be something for everyone,” Packham said. “And we always recommend that customers go on to the Lake George show. We want these shows to be successful for all of us.”

The Woodland Park show will be an all-day affair throughout the weekend, opening Thursday and closing down Sunday afternoon.

“We open (first thing) after we’ve had ourr morning coffee and close in the evening when there are no more customers,” Packham said

For more information, call Rock Gypsies at 719-360-9665 or e-mail: runninboar@hotmail.com.

Packham spoke about the Rock Gypsies show on the Aug. 11 Teller Life show. For more on the Lake George show tune in again Aug. 18.

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