Another year of fine gems and minerals is set to kick off in August.

The 56th Rockhound Gembouree will take place Thursday August 1st and end Sunday the 4th. The event has been described as the largest gem and mineral show in Canada. Gemboree coordinator Maureen Cummings says that this year will begin earlier than in years past. Due to event feedback, the Gemboree will start at 9:30 AM.

Cummings says this year is a full house for vendors, with the arena, the curling hall and their parking lots completely full for the weekend. While she doesn’t have any indications of what visitor numbers will be this year, the event has had excellent social media coverage. Because the event has vendors from all over the world, Cummings says word spreads quickly. People come from as far as India, China and Japan, as well as from the United States. Last year saw anywhere between 7 to 8 thousand people come through the doors, but Cummings says numbers are entirely weather dependent.

Cummings says she is personally excited to see certain vendors from Ethiopia and Russia. The Ethiopian vendors brings fire opals, which can be cracked open from their rocks by someone on location. Russian vendors often bring amber from the north of the country, which Cummings says is some of the best in the world. Most vendors she says keep their inventory secret until they come to the event.