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2019 NC Mineral and Gem Festival

Cheers to 60 Years!

Patti Jensen 

Mitchell County

 

2019 will mark the 60th Anniversary of the NC Mineral and Gem Festival in Spruce Pine.  For sixty years,  Spruce Pine has welcomed rock hounds and jewelry lovers to the NC Mineral and Gem Festival where they enjoy aisles and aisles of beautiful jewelry, gemstones, and minerals from around the country.

“Each year we welcome dealers to the Festival from as far away as California and as close to home as Little Switzerland,” said Patti Jensen, Director of the Festival.  “These dealers, and the thousands of visitors that come to the Festival each year have a tremendous economic impact on our community.”

Spruce Pine, North Carolina has been deemed the most important mining district in the world and has celebrated nature’s resources in this mountain area for decades.  “The world would come to a slow crawl without the rich minerals from the Spruce Pine area,” said Patti Jensen with the Mitchell County Chamber. “Spruce Pine provides over 90% of the world’s purest quartz for the production of computer chips among many other uses.  And did you know that the “sand” at the Master’s in Augusta is trucked in from Spruce Pine?”

The 60th-anniversary event will feature many new additions to the weekend. The Festival will kick off on July 31st at 6 pm with a VIP event. This event is a one night only exclusive event and first look of the Festival. Guests will enjoy live music, food, drinks, a silent auction, and a 60th-anniversary “swag bag”. A special ribbon cutting will open the Festival on Thursday, August 1st at 9:30 am with special guests from our mining community, as well as sponsors, dignitaries, and more.  All are invited to join in!

The popular mine tours will happen this year during the Festival on Thursday, August 1st and Friday, August 2nd.  These tours are sponsored by The Quartz Corporation and visitors can visit a local working mine and dig for treasures to their heart’s delight. Anything they find they can keep! The tours are a ticketed item and require reservations.  Space is limited and these tours are very popular, so reserve spots early!

Festival-goers can enjoy shopping, ample parking, and nearby food services. Attendees can shop for fine jewelry from the top jewelers in the country, have their own custom jewelry designed on-site, as well as shop for minerals, gemstones, fossils, and beads.  Local gem mining establishments offer special mine tours as well as special events at their business locations.

The week is full of activities including an outdoor gem show, the Grassy Creek Mineral, and Gem Show, sponsored by the Parkway Fire Department. This event is held the entire week from Sunday-Sunday and is just a few miles down Hwy 226 from the NC Mineral and Gem Festival.

The 60th NC Mineral and Gem Festival will be held August 1-4, 2019 at a new location this year. Just steps away from the former location and still located in the Spruce Pine Commons Shopping Center, the new location boasts a beautiful space and will also host food vendors, a gift shop, and a special exhibit from the North Carolina Museum of Natural Sciences.  The physical address of the new location is 12085 South Hwy 226, Spruce Pine, NC.  The times are Thursday-Saturday 10-6 and Sunday 12:30-5:00.  Admission is $4 with Senior Citizens admitted on Thursday for $2 and Mitchell County Residents admitted on Sunday for $2.

For more information contact the Mitchell County Chamber of Commerce at 765-9033 or visit www.ncgemfest.com.   Sponsors of the Festival include  Mitchell County Chamber of Commerce, Duke Energy, Quartz Corporation, Sibelco, Wal-Mart, and Springmaid Mountain.

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Patti Jensen is Executive Director of Mitchell County Chamber of Commerce in Spruce Pine. You can visit them on Facebook at https://www.facebook.com/mitchellcountychamber/ or on their website https://mitchellcountychamber.org

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