Spruce Pine celebrates 60th NC Mineral and Gem Festival July 31-Aug. 4

Press release from the Mitchell County Chamber of Commerce:

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,” 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 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 Jensen. “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 Masters 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 Wednesday, July 31, at 6 p.m. 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, Aug. 1, at 9:30 a.m., 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, Aug. 1, and Friday, Aug. 2. These tours are sponsored by The Quartz Corporation, and visitors can visit a local working mine and dig for treasures to their hearts’ 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! Reserve space at www.ncgemfest.com.

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 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. A visit to the Museum of NC Minerals in Spruce Pine is also a “must do” during the week.

The 60th NC Mineral and Gem Festival will be held Thursday-Sunday, Aug. 1-4, 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 a.m.-6 p.m., and Sunday, 12:30-5:00 p.m. 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, Alpine Inn, Eben Concepts, and Springmaid Mountain.

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