Learning about gold panning during last year’s Quesnel Gold Show. This year’s Gold Show is taking place April 20-22 at Alex Fraser Park. File photo

Quesnel Gold Show will feature gold panning showdown, demonstrations, rock identification and much more

There will be lots to see and learn April 20-22 at Quesnel’s Alex Fraser Park

Celebrities will face off in a gold panning showdown. Geologists will identify rocks. Children will hunt for treasure.

It’s all part of the schedule for the Cariboo Mining Association’s (CMA’s) seventh annual Quesnel Gold Show this weekend (April 20-22) at Alex Fraser Park.

Quesnel Gold Show co-chair Jackie Sarginson, secretary of the CMA, says the weekend focuses on education.

“It’s a matter of being able to educate miners and educate the public,” she says.

“There are a lot of government officials coming in to educate the miners about regulations.”

The weekend will feature gold panning for the whole family, equipment demonstrations, a precious rock and gem display, guest speakers and much more.

“We need to keep our heritage alive for our future generations,” says Sarginson.

There will be a gold panning showdown featuring eight-time World Panning Champion Scott Rea, Quesnel Mayor Bob Simpson, Queen of the Creek Karen St. John and MLA Coralee Oakes on Saturday at 1:45 p.m.

Geologists will be identifying rocks Saturday, and there will be a children’s treasure hunt Sunday at 11:30 a.m., followed by a children’s gold panning showdown at 12:30 p.m.

More than 40 vendors from B.C., Alberta and Yukon will be set up throughout the weekend, and there will be door prizes, chainsaw carving and demonstrations.

“There’s a lot of stuff to see, a lot to take in,” says Sarginson.

“We try to mix it up and limit the number of vendors who are the same so there’s a variety of people. We have a waiting list, so we are able to have it liked a juried show so we can pick and choose who is there.”

The Pet Safe Coalition Society of Canada will be providing the concession for the weekend and will also have a pie auction Saturday afternoon after the gold panning showdown, around 2:30-3 p.m.

This is the third year the Pet Safe Coalition Society of Canada has done the concession, and the society is one of several non-profits in Quesnel the CMA supports through the Quesnel Gold Show.

Sarginson says the CMA is supporting about seven local non-profit organizations this year by providing a donation or offering free booth space, including the Baker Creek Enhancement Society and the Quesnel Tumbling Rivers Rock Club.

The Quesnel Gold Show takes place Friday, April 20 from 5-9 p.m., Saturday, April 21 from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. and Sunday, April 22 from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. at Alex Fraser Park.

For more information about the Quesnel Gold Show, contact Rick or Jackie at 250-991-0615 or visit quesnelgoldshow.com.

The Cariboo Mining Association was established in 1952 and has a long established history of representing the hard rock and placer miners of the Cariboo Gold Fields of central British Columbia.

Sarginson says they have done economic impact studies, and the most recent study in 2016 showed the mining industry brought in more than $122 million to the Cariboo.

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