With over 40 different shows, well over 50,000 people and a variety of lectures and displays, the Tucson Gem, Mineral & Fossil Showcase is labeled the world's greatest treasure hunt.
According to the company, Xpo Press, the two-week event brings in researchers, artists, authors and nearly 4,000 trade companies from all over the world to share their expertise.
Known as the event's main show, the 63rd Annual Tucson Gem and Mineral Show runs February 9-12 at the Tucson Convention Center. The theme of this year's show is "Mineral Treasures of the Midwest." Co-Chairman of the show committee, Richard Gottfried says, "These are all of the beautiful crystals and minerals that come out of all the states of the Midwest. And we've added Kentucky and Tennessee and Arkansas, because they've got some really great stuff. "
The hands-on activities and junior education area make it a big draw for families.
The Tucson Gem and Mineral Show at the TCC is $13 for adults and free for children 14 years and younger with a paying adult. Most shows surrounding the main event are free admission and open to the public. Hotel accommodations can be booked through Visit Tucson's website.
Due to the high volume of attendance and dozens of locations, parking may be difficult, so the free shuttle bus service, GemRide may be a better option for you. The shuttle will operate the entire length of the event, connecting to 33 stops, making all shows accessible without a car. GemRide will pick up from any downtown garage and will run daily from 8am-7pm. Parking locations can be found here.
The two-week event runs from January 28 to February 12. Click here for a schedule of events.
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Editor's note: An earlier verison of this article indicated "nearly" 50,000 people attend the Tucson Gem, Mineral and Fossil Showcase. Company Xpo Press notes the attendance is exponentially higher for the two-week event, in the hundreds of thousands.