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Museum wrapped up Summer Fest on Sunday, Aug. 5,drawing gem and rock lovers from across the area.

STAFF PHOTO: CHRISTOPHER OERTELL - Soren McKinney, 5, of Portland, pans for gold with the help of NW Prospectors Club member Bill Krause during the Rice Northwest Museum of Rocks and Minerals Summer Fest on Sunday, Aug. 5.Hillsboro's Rice Northwest Museum of Rocks and Minerals is busy, busy, busy.

The popular museum wrapped up its annual Summer Fest on Sunday, Aug. 5. The annual festivities draw gem and rock lovers from across the Portland area.

The museum, at 26385 N.W. Groveland Dr., in Hillsboro, is known for its world-class collection, and opens its doors each year for the annual Summer Fest, the organizer's largest event of the year.

The outdoor festival featured plenty of geodes, minerals, rocks and other natural wonders, as well as jewelry and fossil dealers.

Whether you were interested in panning for gold, or learning more about gem cutting or jewelry, the annual festival had something for everyone, said Julian Gray, the museum's executive director,

The museum hosts a handful of events each year, which are a great way to experience the museum, Gray said. One vendor was on hand during Summer Fest to crack open geodes for interested customers. Geodes look like simple rocks on the outside, but shine brightly with fantastic colors once opened.

"They're the first person to see what's inside a geode in millions of years," Gray said.

About 1,500 people attend the event each year.

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