By Gianna Holiday
For the last 60 years, Spruce Pine has welcomes rockhounds, gem and mineral enthusiasts to the beautiful Blue Ridge Mountains.
From August 1 to August 3, the Spruce Pine Commons Shopping Center will host the 60th from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. and on Sunday, August 4, from 12:30 p.m. to 5 p.m.
Since the early 1950s, Spruce Pine, North Carolina has been the host of the festival and welcomed visitors from around the world to shop for beautiful jewelry, gemstones, minerals, beads, crystals, fossils and more.
Even celebrities have been spotted at the festival selecting their jewelry, gemstones and gifts. The festival features gem, jewelry and mineral dealers from across the country showcasing their merchandise to fit every budget.
Guests have the ability to shop for an engagement ring, a special stone for their own setting, a custom designed piece of jewelry or even a special crystal display for the home. A wide variety of options are available to those who visit the festival.
Opening Day of the 60th NC Mineral and Gem Festival will begin at 9:45 a.m. with a ribbon cutting to officially open the show. Then, guests will be able to enjoy a full day of shopping, exhibits, tours and more.
Thursday and Friday will also feature mine tours, sponsored by the Quartz Corporation for only two days. Every year, these coveted spots go fast, so guests are encouraged to reserve theirs early.
Participants will visit a local working mine, Pine Mountain, where they can dig for treasure and keep all finds. Tours leave from the festival site and last two hours.
Saturday will feature an evening of blues, soul and Americana during the festival weekend at the downtown park on Locust Street in Spruce Pine at 6 p.m. The music festival, which will be free of charge, will feature singer Shelby Rae Moore.
Sunday is the last chance for guests to enjoy the festival, opening at 12:30 p.m. and closing at 5 p.m. Sunday is also Mitchell County Day with all local citizens admitted to the event for a mere $1.
The festival will also be celebrating their Diamond Year from August 1 to 4 with one of the oldest and most popular mineral and gem shows in the country.
Admission is $5 for adults, $3 for seniors while kids 10 and under are free.
For more information, contact Patti Jensen at 828-765-9483 or [email protected]