CONTRIBUTED CONTENT — Utah is rich with geological treasures; in fact, over 400 different types of rocks and minerals have been unearthed across the Beehive State so far. If you want to jump into rockhounding, this is the place to do it, and The Crystal Festival is the place to get started.

Rocks, minerals, gems and crystals on display at The Crystal Festival, location and date not specified | Photo courtesy of The Crystal Festival, St. George News

The second annual Southern Utah edition of The Crystal Festival will be held Saturday and Sunday, March 16-17, at Washington County Legacy Park. Vendor booths will be open from 10 a.m. to 8 p.m. both days. The event is open to the public and completely free to attend, including parking.

“We have a very inclusive, awesome community,” said Adrienne McElwain, the event’s founder. “If you’ve ever had any interest, or your kids have any interest, in rocks or you just think they’re cool and have no idea why, you’re welcome here. It’s a great hobby.”

The Crystal Festival features vendor booths from across the West with a wide variety of stones for sale. You can buy all your favorite pieces while also learning more about how they’re mined and used from local mine owners, lapidary artists, jewelry makers and crystal healers. Expert vendors will be on hand to answer questions about their products and offer suggestions on what types of rocks might be right for you.

Sponsored by Utah Rock Collectors, Dixie Rock & Fossil and Minerals 4 All, the event has plenty to offer experienced treasure hunters as well as anyone just getting started on their rockhounding journey. Attendees can learn how to cut and polish stones, sign up for geology classes, book tours of mines and discover great rockhounding sites.

The Crystal Festival is a family-friendly event with plenty of fun, free activities for kids. Young adventurers will have a blast panning for gold, digging up fossils and learning about various rocks in the kids’ corner. And for just $5, you can learn the basics of rock painting and create your very own pet rock to take home.

Rocks, minerals, gems and crystals on display at The Crystal Festival, location and date not specified | Photo courtesy of The Crystal Festival, St. George News

And with Sunday, March 17, being St. Patrick’s Day, the first 100 rockhounds through the door each morning will receive lucky scratchers for a chance to win crystal prizes.

You can also join a free rockhounding trip hosted by the Utah Rock Collectors on Friday, March 15. Kids will love hiking the foothills of the Vermillion Cliffs looking for petrified wood.

Along with hunting for treasure, budding rockhounds will also learn about the laws and ethics of rock collecting plus important safety tips. The trip is free but space is limited; click here to sign up.

The Crystal Festival, described by McElwain as “every rockhound’s happy place,” is a celebration of the love of crystals. It started as a trunk show at Rockpick Legend Co., a rock shop in Salt Lake City that was owned and operated by her father, geology enthusiast and author Rick Dalrymple, until his retirement in 2018. Now traveling throughout Utah and surrounding states, this geological extravaganza has grown into an exciting event for all ages.

McElwain has spent a lifetime playing in the dirt. Known throughout Utah’s rockhounding community as the Crystal Barista, she sells unique crystal products and teaches geology classes online, at local co-ops, in public schools and around the country as a guest speaker. She created The Crystal Festival to share her passion for rock collecting and the myriad of unique stones and minerals still waiting to be discovered. She invites anyone in the community who’s interested in rockhounding to come see what it’s all about.

“I really wanted to create a place for people to learn what part of rocks, minerals and crystals they’re actually attracted to and why they’re drawn to it, and then explore that,” she said. “We have people at the show that do palm readings, reiki, tarot, crystal healing and more. We get everyone from students to hardcore mineral collectors.”

Event details

What: The Crystal Festival.
When: Saturday and Sunday, March 16-17, from 10 a.m. to 8 p.m.
Where: Washington County Legacy Park, 5500 W. 700 South, Hurricane.
Tickets: Free.
Resources: FacebookWebsite.

Written by ALEXA MORGAN for St. George News.

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