Temperatures in the upper 80s and sunny skies are in the forecast for this weekend’s 20th annual Missouri Mines Rock Swap, where a large and colorful variety of rock samples, gems, mineral specimens and fossils, lapidary items, and jewelry and craft items will be on display.
The three-day event is scheduled to run from 9 a.m. to 6 p.m. Friday and Saturday and from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. Sunday. It will take place at Missouri Mines State Historic Site, located at 4000 Highway 32 in Park Hills.
Site Administrator Art Hebrank, a rock and mineral enthusiast himself, noted that over the years he has spoken with many other hobbyists and enthusiasts and they all agree that the Missouri Mines historic site is an ideal location for an event such as this.
“We have a nice, big space and we have a good drawing card because of the museum here with our great mineral collection that helps attract people,” he said. “Everything’s right about it. And it’s the biggest rock swap in Missouri, I’m pretty sure. I’ve never heard of anything that’s bigger than this.”
Hebrank said about 70 vendors will be on hand at the event from all across the country.
While most vendors will be from Missouri, Illinois and surrounding states including Arkansas, Kansas, Oklahoma and Iowa. Vendors from Wisconsin, Indiana, Michigan, Tennessee, Mississippi, North Carolina, Florida, Pennsylvania and California have registered for the event as well.
While most vendors are there to sell, some are also willing to swap or buy items from attendees if they see something they like.
Admission to the rock swap is free. Additionally, the historic site museum will be open during the event and its admission fees will be waived.
Hebrank said that attendance during the three-day event typically tops out at between 2,500 and 3,000. With clear skies and no rain expected, a better than average turnout can be expected.
The event is co-sponsored by the historic site, the Mineral Area Gem and Mineral Society and the Greater St. Louis Association of Earth Science Clubs.
Kevin Jenkins is a reporter for the Daily Journal and can be reached at 573-518-3614 or email@example.com