FGMS presents Fall Festival of Gems and Minerals Oct. 8

Mineral panning is one of the fun activities that will be offered at the Fall Festival of Gems and Minerals this Sunday, Oct. 8, in downtown Fallbrook.

FALLBROOK – October will be a busy month for the Fallbrook Gem and Mineral Society (FGMS).

This Sunday, Oct. 8 FGMS will host its 21st annual Fall Festival of Gems and Minerals, and on Thursday, Oct. 12 members and supporters will gather to celebrate the nonprofit’s 60th Diamond Anniversary.

The Fall Festival of Gems and Minerals is a fun, free family event that offers something for everyone, especially those that like gems, minerals and fossils. A street fair event, the festival runs from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. on Alvarado Street between Main Avenue and Pico Avenue.

Vendors will line the street offering mineral and fossil specimens, gemstones, lapidary arts and handcrafted jewelry, along with a variety of earth science demonstrations and activities, such as free mineral panning, sphere making and, new this year, rock painting.

FGMS members will man a large mineral booth as well as a Wheel of Fortune booth, where everyone walks away a winner. Hungry festival visitors will want to stop by the food booth run by Fallbrook High School’s Kiwanis Key Club.

Inside the FGMS building (located on Alvarado), continuous silent auctions will be conducted, free gemstone identification will be offered by the San Diego Gemological Society, and FGMS members’ winning entries at the recent San Diego County Fair will be exhibited. Also, a variety of “rough and cut” materials will be sold in the large meeting room.

Next door to the FGMS building is the FGMS Museum, a repository of amazing minerals from San Diego County and around the world. Docents will be available to answer questions and direct visitors around the displays, including the newly refurbished and soon to be dedicated (on Oct. 12), Gregory B. Anderson Fluorescent Mineral Gallery.

Inside the museum is a small gift shop with lots of interesting items, all related in some manner to the earth sciences.

The festival will conclude with everyone gathering at the FGMS mineral booth for the raffle drawings that will offer great examples of gems, jewelry, minerals and fossils.

Tickets are available prior to the festival at the FGMS office, open  Thursday through Saturday, 11 a.m. to 3 p.m., or the day of the event at the FGMS mineral booth. Donation tickets are $5 each or five for $20.

See www.fgms.org for photos of many of the prizes. For vendor inquiries, call (760) 728-1130. Plenty of free parking is available in the lot across from the FGMS building at 123 W. Alvarado Street.

FGMS members and supporters will gather Oct. 12 to celebrate the organization’s 60th Diamond Anniversary. The evening’s theme to kick off the 60th year will be “Still Strong…and Rockin’ On!”

At 6:15 p.m. the membership will gather to officially open and dedicate the newly refurbished fluorescent mineral room, to be named in honor of a longtime FGMS supporter Gregory B. Anderson, who helped the society create the popular display. Unfortunately, Mr. Anderson passed away last year, but his wife, Eve Anderson, will be in attendance for the ceremony and will speak about her late husband’s passion for fluorescence.

A group including past presidents, honorary members, and current and former members are expected to attend. The evening’s program will include an “open mic” segment for members to reflect on their FGMS experiences, a video slide show of photos of club activities over the decades, a FGMS historic trivia game, and a special raffle featuring anniversary gems and minerals.

Former members and FGMS supporters interested in attending are asked to contact Elizabeth Cheathem, chair of the 60th Anniversary Committee, at (760) 845-1582.

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