“This is our 24th annual [event], so we’ve been doing this for quite a number of years,” Tellus Executive Director Jose Santamaria said. “It goes back to the Weinman days. The idea started as people bringing in minerals and rocks they collected and [they traded] with others, but it really became apparent that a lot of professional dealers wanted to come and bring [items] from all over the country. So it kind of turned into a mineral show, like how you have in other parts of the state. So our purpose is to really open people’s eyes to the treasures of the Earth, the geology, to mineral collecting. Also, [we wanted] to add just something extra to the museum visit that weekend.
“[The event will consist of] about 25 dealers and they’re coming from all over the Southeast. There’s a whole range of material. There’s dealers that just do mineral specimens and crystals and geodes. ... We’ll [also] have fossils and meteorites, [and] a lot of jewelry and gem dealers. So I think it appeals to a different range of people. Obviously if you’re a collector, if you want to get something for your collection, this is the place to come. But also many people want to buy gifts or buy something decorative for the house or buy some jewelry.”
Selling their specimens throughout the event — Saturday and Sunday from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m., a complete list of RockFest’s dealers is posted on Tellus’ website, www.tellusmuseum.org. With activities scheduled for the entire family, RockFest also will include door prizes, mineral and fossil identification, and children’s activities, such as rock bingo and creating a pet rock.
“RockFest is fun for the whole family,” said Shelly Redd, director of marketing for Tellus Science Museum. “We’ve planned fun geology related hands-on activities for the little ones, and everyone will enjoy the many dealers who will be here from around the world showcasing and selling some of their best treasures. Plus, the first 200 visitors each day will receive a free mineral specimen.”
Opened in January 2009, Tellus — an expansion of the former Weinman Mineral Museum — became a Smithsonian affiliate during its debut year. Encompassing 120,000 square feet at 100 Tellus Drive in Cartersville, the museum is comprised of four main galleries — The Weinman Mineral Gallery, The Fossil Gallery, Science in Motion and The Collins Family My Big Backyard hands-on science gallery — a 120-seat digital planetarium and an observatory. The museum welcomed its millionth visitor March 27.
The upcoming event will be included in regular admission to Tellus for non-members and free for museum members. For more information about the museum and its events and programs, call 770-606-5700 or visit www.tellusmuseum.org.