Fossil fascination: Rice Museum slates two festivals
Rice Northwest Museum of Rocks and Minerals will be hosting a double feature of festivals this month for fans of minerals, rocks, fossils and more.
The museum, known for housing a world-class collection recognized as the finest in the Pacific Northwest and one of the best in the nation, showcases not only fine rocks and minerals, but also fossils, meteorites, lapidary art and gemstones from all around the world..
The museum, at 26385 N.W. Groveland Dr., in Hillsboro, will kick off its 14th annual Summer Fest from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m., on Saturday and Sunday, Aug. 5 and 6.
The outdoor fest will feature geodes, minerals and rocks for sale at vendor booths, as well as a wide variety of rock, mineral, gem, jewelry, and fossil dealers on-site. In addition to the great finds, there will also be food available for purchase, live music, raffles, silent auctions and tons of family-friendly activities, like gold panning and geode cutting, to partake in.
The festival also offers up the opportunity to learn more about the treasures unearthed from the planet, as rock clubs from around the region will be offering educational displays, demonstrations and activities.
The entire museum will be open during the event, so exploring the displays after browsing vendors' tents is highly encouraged.
Admission to the Summer Fest for ages five and up is $5.
Just one week later, on Saturday, Aug. 12, the museum will be hosting the 12th Northwest Fossil Fest sponsored by the North America Research Group.
This year's theme is titled "Fishing the Past," and aims to encourage responsible stewardship of Earth's paleontological resources and promote scientific research, communication and public education.
From 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. patrons can enjoy a wide variety of activities.
Lectures on fossils of the Pacific Northwest with a focus on prehistoric fish will be happening, including a talk by Dr. Edward Davis of the University of Oregon on the infamous Sabertooth Salmon. Also known as oncorhynchus rastrosus, the fish is an extinct species of salmon that lived along the Pacific coast of North America — adults grew to be around nine feet in length and had pairs of small fangs protruding from the tip of their snouts, hence the nickname.
There will also be exhibits of exceptional specimens, activities for kids, including screening for shark teeth, a fossil hunt and other educational games.
Along with fossil identification help and fossil preparation demonstrations, the event allows complimentary entrance into the museum.
The Fossil Fest is free and open to the public, and boasts the latest in recent fossil discoveries in the Pacific Northwest.