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Rock hounds wanted

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Agates, polished specimens, semi-precious gems, fossils, petrified wood and hand-crafted jewelry will all be part of the 12th annual agate and mineral show as it returns to Brainerd May 3-4.

The Cuyuna Rock, Gem and Mineral Society will host the event from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. May 3 and 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. May 4 at the Crow Wing County Fairgrounds, on 13th Street Southeast.

“We’ve got a fellow who has a faceting machine to show how stones are faceted,” said Sharon Smith, show chairwoman. “We have new exhibits this year. It is going to be a big show. If we have good weather, I bet we’ll have 40 outside vendors this year. We are expecting a pretty big crowd.”

More than 75 vendors are expected if the weather is good, meaning vendors will set up both inside and outside at the fairgrounds.

Last year, Smith said the agate and mineral show drew about 2,500 people, which she said was an astounding number for the show’s first year in Brainerd. The agate and mineral show moved to Brainerd last year after a decade in downtown Aitkin.

This year, new dealers are coming from out of the state, hailing from Michigan, Wisconsin and Iowa.

Special displays and demonstrations are planned throughout the day. People may watch arrowheads being knapped and rocks being cut. A florescent booth will allow people to view stones that glow with ultraviolet light.

In the Kid’s Korner, children may dig for fossils and agates. In addition, a tailgating section will be in the parking lot for buying, selling and trading stones.

The family event will show people how to identify agates, cut and polish finds and what equipment is used to turn rocks into gems.

Cost for adults is $1, Children are free to attend.

Everyone gets one free entry for door prize drawings throughout the event, including a grand prize for an overnight stay for two and food at Grand Casino Mille Lacs. Other door prizes are given out about every 15 minutes, Smith said. Membership in the Cuyuna Rock, Gem and Mineral Society will be offered at half price for $10.

Concessions will be available on site with adult and children’s menu items including pulled pork and pulled chicken with a barbecue menu, potato salad and cole slaw.

For more information, contact Sharon Smith 218-343-7037 or email

Denton (Denny) Newman Jr.
I've worked at the Brainerd Dispatch with various duties since Dec. 7, 1983. Starting off as an Ad Designer and currently Director of Audience Development. The Dispatch has been an interesting and challenging place to work. I'm fortunate to have made many friends, both co-workers and customers.
(218) 855-5889