Press release from Mitchell County Chamber of Commerce:
For over fifty 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 Mitchell County Chamber Director Shirley Hise. “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 mines?”
Visitors to the Festival can also engage local gem miners, visit local mines to dig for their own treasures such as aquamarine and enjoy the beauty of the Blue Ridge Mountains including the Blue Ridge Parkway, Appalachian Trail and Roan Mountain.
Festival go-ers can enjoy shopping, ample parking, and food services at the Festival location of The Bridge Coliseum. Free shuttle vans will be on hand for those parking in adjacent parking lots. 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.
The Festival will be held August 1-4 at The Bridge (formerly Pinebridge Coliseum). The times are Thursday-Saturday 10-6 and Sunday 12:30-5:00. Admission is $3 with Senior Citizens admitted on Thursday for $1 and Mitchell County Residents admitted on Sunday for $1. Kids ages 10 & under are free.
For more information contact the Mitchell County Chamber of Commerce at 765-9033or visit www.ncgemfest.com. Sponsors of the Festival include United Community Bank, Duke Energy, Unimin, McDonalds, Imery’s , Burleson Plumbing, Duke Energy & BRP. Contact the Mitchell County Chamber at 828-765-9033 or visit www.ncgemfest.com.