By Daniel Marielle
The month of March is upon us, and this season's event to look forward to will take place just a week from now. The Buffalo Geological Society, an affiliate of the Buffalo Museum of Science, announced its 47th annual Gem, Mineral and Fossil Show will take place at the Grange Market Buildings on the Erie County Fairgrounds in Hamburg. The show hours are 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. Saturday, March 22, and 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Sunday, March 23.
This year's theme is "Fluorite." There will be special displays by the state Office of Parks, Recreation and Historic Preservation, New York's Department of Environmental Conservation, Penn Dixie and more. The exhibits contain everything from dinosaur drawings and assembling skeletons to leather working and fossil cleaning.
A crowd favorite every year, the society's famous "Mini-Mine" will be the center of attention for children 12 and under. For 25 cents, they can "mine" many different kinds of minerals and fossils, fill up a small bag to the top, have the pieces identified by experts and, lastly, take them home as a souvenir. There also will be another favorite, "Grandpa's Corner," for the youngest scientists and geologists to learn about the arts of bead crafting, sand art and more.
The show is a place to look for and find unique gifts, including items from gem collectables to demonstrations.
Visitors with an admission ticket will be eligible for raffles and readings. Just by walking through the door with an event card, visitors are entered in the raffle, which has drawings for free prizes. There are many prizes available and drawings hourly, which will include a wide variety of door prizes. There will be one big drawing at the end of each day where there will be two big prizes available for the winner. Each prize has something to do with the fluorite theme.
The Gem, Mineral and Fossil Show is described as a good "field trip" and a real learning experience for people of all ages.
"The turnout has always been good and consistent over the years," said event chairman Steve Birtz. "The society is hopeful for a good turnout this year and expects all who attend to have fun and learn something new."
Admission to the event is $5. Scouts who wear their uniform (including leaders) and children ages 12 and under are admitted free of charge. An added feature this year is the two-day pass, which is $7. There is no charge for parking.