Roctoberfest2018

Sidney Johnson looks at a rock slab under the examining light at the Marysville Rock and Gem Club's 44th annual Rocktoberfest on Oct. 6.

Gems, jewelry, minerals and rocks were on display at the Totem Middle School gymnasium as part of the Marysville Rock and Gem Club's 44th annual "Rocktoberfest."

This year the rock and gem show was held on Oct. 6 and 7.

Rock and Gem Club member Mike McWilliams said the show draws in a lot of different people.

"You have a whole variety of people here, the people who like to make jewelry or people like me who like to prospect," he said.

Families come down a lot, often because one of the parents enjoys rock hunting as a hobby, said McWilliams.

"Dad or mom are into the rocks so the kids get drug along," he said, however that usually helps spark an interest in youth.

"Many of our club members our actually second generation," said McWilliams.

McWilliams said that other times kids will come down because they are interested in rocks or geology.

"Then you have the kids with their own collections," he said, "and they want to come down and find out what rocks they have and maybe add to their collection."

Sidney Johnson is one of the local kids who said she enjoyed collecting and has a collection at home.

She liked the different kinds of rocks she was able to see at the show.

"I really like the slabs. At my house I have more of the natural types," said Johnson.

"I can look through them and see what's interesting," she said.

Other rock show visitors like Kirby Wendt are just stopping by to find out about the show.

"I think it is pretty cool. We were just driving by and we decided to come in and we really enjoy it," he said.

"I like the variety of rocks and just the really nice people at the booths," he said.

McWilliams said that he hopes events like these inspire young people to get interested in geology.

"I'm trying to think of how to really energize younger people," he said, and added he's hoping to work with the Marysville School District this year on a pilot program.

McWilliams said he got into the hobby because he likes the outdoors.

"I love to camp and fish and all that stuff, and looking for rocks just adds another dimension to it," he said.

"You can come to these shows and see the rocks, so you learn to recognize that when you're out trucking around," he said.

The Marysville Rock and Gem Club runs their annual show both as a way for members to show their work and effort in rock hunting or jewelry making, and as a way to raise funds.

"This is how we raise our club's operating expenses," said McWilliams.

The club gives out local scholarships to students planning to study geology or related fields and also supports various causes.

"Something we struggle with in our hobby is land access," said McWilliams, who said rock hunting land is often restricted sometimes because of political or business reasons.

To learn more about the local club go to their website at ww.marysvillerockclub.com.

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