Kids dug through tubs to find treasures.
Adults gazed at jewelry and stones in a panoply of colors.
And all around, folks found fun – the sometimes-heavy, possibly-even-dirty kind of enjoyment that comes in the form of minerals, rocks, gems and fossils.
The annual Gem Mineral Fossil Show of the Buffalo Geological Society is underway this weekend in one part of the Fairgrounds complex in Hamburg.
It began Saturday and will continue Sunday, from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m.
For some families, the Gem Mineral Fossil Show is a chance for children to begin – or pursue – a love for natural things, including those of the rock and mineral variety.
“My son here has become quite the little rock collector,” said Jamestown resident Tim Dole of his son Carter, a second-grader, as the two looked over display cases at the event on Saturday.
Carter said he has 179 rocks in his collection – and counting. Earlier this month, he got a rock tumbler for his 8th birthday, his dad said.
“A little collection of nine rocks, it got me started,” said Carter, who was browsing at the show with his sister, Quinn, age 4, and mom Leslie.
In the buildings housing the show on the Hamburg spread, display cases and tables held antiques, fossils, silver bracelets, rings set with honed jewels, pendants, loose stones, and more.
Children were busily digging in a “Geo Mini-Mine” – a set of tubs filled with pieces to discover – for rocks.
There was even – you guessed it – rock candy for sale, in an array of colors.
Southtowns resident Kelly Logel, of West Seneca, was among those looking over the show’s displays with her family, including her 8-year-old son.
“My son and his cousin are with us, and they love the gems and minerals,” Logel said.
She said the event was a learning opportunity for the children.
Displays and sales booths at the show were from places around the state and beyond – including Kentucky.
At one booth, for Reinstein Woods Nature Preserve, kids were coloring masks shaped like triceratops heads and other dinosaurs.
The show, in its 47th year, is a project of the local geological society, which was started in Buffalo in the 1930s. The theme of this year’s show is fluorites.
Craig Posmantur, president of the society, said that, among other things, the event gets kids enthusiastic about digging for fossils and looking at rocks.
“They get excited about it,” he said, of the reaction of children to digging for treasures.
The society, which has about 175 members, holds regular meetings in Buffalo, Posmantur said.
For the rock show event, admission is $5 for adults, and kids 12 and younger are free.