Krusher, the baby T-Rex is baaaaack this year! Along with mega-shark Megladon and the largest Rock & Gem show in California. Come on down to the Fairgrounds, and discover all there is to do at the Mother Lode Mineral Society’s 55thannual Rock & Gem Show, where families, kids and the young at heart come for education, adventure and fun.
“Krusher, the 18-foot-long animatronic baby dinosaur that joined us last year was an enormous success,” says Terry McMillin, who coordinates the event with her husband Bud, along with a committee of 34 people who work all year long to prepare for the event. “He was so realistic, people couldn’t wait to see him. He’ll be making three appearances daily.” Inside the dinosaur is an expert puppeteer who creates the lifelike movements including loud roars. Krusher is led by a paleontologist-costumed handler, who explains how T-Rex lived.
“We’ve got a pretty big collection of activities. The Tethys Ocean Projectwill feature ‘Sharks’, hosted by Dr. Alan Schaffert, who loves to share his passion and knowledge about marine fossils. Richard Wade has a really high-energy talk on dinosaurs, how they lived, died, and became fossils. Internationally known paleontologist, Neal Larson, brings Paleontology Unlimitedall the way from South Dakota to share his knowledge of fossils with everyone. The Great Valley Museum is bringing a fascinating fossil display, and the exhibit includes a hands-on take home project. On top of all this, we offer a fossil dig and rock carving for a real-time experience.”
MLMS members and MJC jewelry class students demonstrate various methods of making jewelry, spheres, faceting gemstones, and more. “The show features lots of hands-on activities like gold panning, learning to make a bracelet, carve a soapstone amulet, dig for fossils and gemstones, search for Treasure Hunt items or listen to presentations on dinosaurs and more.”
Got Rocks? And Minerals and Gemstones…
The MLMS has largest Rock and Gem Show in California with attendance at almost 10,000. In addition to fascinating exhibits and hands-on activities for all ages, there are 43 dealers carrying gemstones, jewelry, rock specimens, crystals, findings and more. “I think that we have done a pretty good job of creating an educational family event that brings together a variety of museum exhibits and science experts not normally available to our community, in an exciting hands-on format.”
The Fluorescent Room has again expanded, to 1,200 square feet, and now features the largest exhibit on the west coast. “It really showcases the wonder of fluorescence as dull, ordinary looking rocks burst into vibrant yellow, orange, red, and purple colors when exposed to long, mid and shortwave lighting. Mike Whittier, MJC & Stanislaus State Earth Science instructor, and his wife Chris, bring together an amazing collection of material from around the world. Mike is there the entire two days to talk to people.”
Mineral expert Jim Hutchings provides gemstone and rock identification. “People come from all over wanting to know exactly what the stone in great-grandma’s ring is. And kids love to stop by the booth to find out what the treasured rock is that they collected themselves. Jim provides an interesting experience that is seldom available to the general public.”
Event Info:March 14 & 15th, at the Stanislaus County Fairgrounds, 900 N. Broadway, Turlock. Hours: 10AM – 5PM. Admission: Adult: $6.00; 12 and under free with paid adult. TurlockGemShow.com. Military free with ID. Parking is free. And if you get the nibbles, there’s the new food court.