The Tucson Gem, Mineral, and Fossil Showcase is a time-honored tradition. This event started in the 1950s with a mere 15 vendors and 1500 attendees. The event now hosts over 4,000 vendors and 50,000 attendees each year.
To get the most out of your experience, you should plan your visit to the showcase in advance. That way, you’ll know what exciting things are in store, so you don’t miss a moment. Here are seven tips for your first Tucson Gem, Mineral, and Fossil Showcase.
1.Learn Some Basics in Advance
With so many different shows and displays to choose from, it can be challenging to narrow down, which might appeal to you. Take some time to get familiar with different types of gems and minerals by looking online. Note how they look, where they come from, and why people like them.
For example, while lots of people know what a gem or a fossil is, minerals may be a bit more perplexing. Take some time to peruse the minerals available at FossilEra’s website so you can impress your friends and family with your knowledge when the showcase rolls around.
2.Book Accommodations and Make Reservations Months in Advance
If you’ve never been to the showcase before, you might be surprised by how quickly everything books up. As traffic can be backed up during the event, getting a hotel near the site will make your experience more enjoyable. Booking a hotel or Airbnb well in advance will help you get a prime location.
Restaurants and businesses in the area also benefit from this influx of visitors. The challenge is that it can be difficult to get a seat. Either plan your meals around busy periods or make reservations ahead of time.
3.Don’t Just Look at Gems and Minerals
Despite the overarching theme of the showcase, there are a lot of other interesting displays worth seeing. The showcase also hosts a festival with live bands to watch in the evening while enjoying a few drinks. Other fascinating events include glass blowing contests where expert artists compete to create a masterpiece.
4.Plan to Take Part
Choose a few hands-on activities to take part in while you’re at the showcase. There are jewelry making courses and lecture sessions that you can partake in, as well as non-profit organizations that can teach you about sustainability and conservation.
These sessions are ideal for visitors who are new to the world of gems and minerals. They can be very informative and help you make smart purchasing decisions while shopping.
5.Plan to Bring the Kids
Rocks and gems are surprisingly exciting. The showcase not only caters to collectors and people passing the time on the weekend, but to children as well. Your kids will love this immersive approach to learning; the showcase welcomes upward of 3000 elementary-aged children each year.
While the fossil displays are sure to be a hit with the little ones, there are other geology-based experiences as well. Some displays allow kids to crack open a geode and discover the beauty within. Other vendors sell meteorites and give lessons on space. It’s truly an all-ages event.
6.Pack a Bag and Be Prepared
The showcase is a huge event that takes place both indoors and outdoors. Packing a survival kit is a must, whether you’re going solo or with your family. Bring lots of water to drink throughout the day, as well as sunscreen, hats, and sunglasses for when you’re outdoors.
It’s important to wear comfortable shoes as you’ll be walking all day. Throw in a few snacks to carry you over between meals, and some extra canvas bags to carry purchases.
7.Make Purchases on the First Day
Discerning buyers will often delay a purchase to overcome impulse decisions and stick to a budget. However, if you see something you want on the first day, buy it before you leave. Waiting until the last minute increases the odds that someone else will snatch it up first or that the vendor will have packed up and left already.
By following these seven tips, you can have an incredible time at the Tucson Gem, Mineral, and Fossil Showcase. The combination of art, science, and shopping makes this a fun event for all.